In a world where COVID-19 has forced people to rethink how they’ll thrive, bar associations are probably not on the minds of attorneys who are currently navigating a new arena built on a bedrock of plexiglass benches, Zoom, and social distancing. But in this pandemic, it’s OK to put some things on the backburner, said Vicki Clark, a consultant who trains organizations on how to foster community and support membership. Clark, who has given keynote speeches at the State Bar of Texas Bar Leaders Conference in the past, was the first speaker in the bar’s new Bar Leaders Conference Speaker Series. More than 200 bar leaders watched her webcast presentation titled “The Power of Associations: Leading in Times of Change,” gaining insight on how change can move an organization and people forward. “We have to be on the transition team,” she said. “We all have to think of different ways to lead.” Clark focused on bar associations prioritizing people over procedure. Reevaluate where you stand on the latter point, check in with members, let go of any programs or projects that may not be realistic at this time, and involve new people who may have previously been excluded, Clark said. “This is where you say I understand your skepticism and need your help.”

Laura Dawn Ouin is the founder of Third Coast Mediation & Communication in Dallas, Texas, and is passionate about conflict resolution in all forms. Equipped with over 20 years of experience in business development, conflict resolution and communication development, she facilitates solutions through strategic mediations as well as developing written communication for web, press releases, and media distribution. When it is critical that your audience needs to understand your message, Laura Dawn helps you be heard.

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