An Effective Chatelaine is . . . .

An Effective Chatelaine is . . . . . . . . . .

  • Both a Communicator and Listener:  Your primary duties require that you talk to newcomers to make them feel welcome, provide them with information and determine their needs and concerns.  Communication is a two-way street.  You must be able to clearly impart information and do your best to comprehend what others are saying.
  • Approachable:  Some newcomers are more easily intimidated than others.  Sometimes all it takes to attract or repel someone is a facial expression.  A smile is obviously more attractive than a frown.  Before you enter an event, consciously check your attitude at the door.  If you have had a bad day, week or whatever, leave it behind you.  If it’s obvious that you are having a good time, more people will want to be around you!
  • Available:  You must be accessible for newcomers, in person, by telephone and by email.  Any queries by newcomers should be responded to within 5 calendar days.  While you are not expected to attend every Group function, you should at least be able to attend your Group’s council meetings and events.  If you can’t make it to other activities, such as fighter training, ask someone else to attend on your behalf.  If you don’t have a Deputy, ask someone who regularly attends these activities to keep an eye out for newcomers to ensure that their needs are met.
  • Patience:  Some newcomers will have far more initiative than others in getting involved and obtaining information.  Some members of your Group will need reminding more often than others to include newcomers in conversations and activities and to participate in demos and other activities geared towards newcomers.  Both situations can be frustrating.  The application of patience can truly come in hand to help keep your frustration in check, as it may lead to anger.  Extreme expressions of anger are not attractive and can be harmful to your peace of mind.
  • Cooperation:  Like communication, cooperation works both ways.  Fostering a positive working relationship within your Group with not only your fellow Officers but also the other members of the Group will only be good for all of you, whereas a lack of cooperative relationships can work against you and your Group in achieving established goals and also harmful to the cohesiveness of your Group.
  • Organised:  You must be able to keep records, respond to newcomers in a timely manner and submit meaningful monthly (to your Seneschal) and quarterly / half yearly (to the Lochac Chatelaine).
  • Knowledgeable:  Just because you have accepted the position of Chatelaine doesn’t mean you are expected to know everything.  However, as stated previously, you should familiarise yourself with SCA and Kingdom laws and policies, have a general knowledge of SCA history and be able to refer newcomers to others with similar interests, or those who may have the information they are seeking.
  • Enthusiastic:  There is nothing more attractive enthusiasm; both to a newcomer and to members of your Group.  If a newcomer sees that you are having a good time, then the likelihood of them staying to become an integral part of your Group is high.  If you express your enthusiasm about the importance of attracting, educating and retaining newcomers, members of your group will, hopefully, be more than willing to assist you with activities for newcomers.
  • Realistic:  You must be able to recognise your personal limitations and those of the individuals in your local Group.  If you and the members of the local populace are “burned-out”, you will not have a good time.  This will reflect in your efforts with the activities you conduct for your newcomers and may result in them not returning.
  • Creativity:  Conceive and develop ideas which will fit into the already existing infrastructure of your Group.  Encourage others to help and hold discussions whereby any new ideas can be expanded upon for the benefit of your Group.