Spotlight on Associates

Working together as Associate co-coordinators
By Barbara Bacci Yugovich, IHM Associate, and Anne Crimmins, IHM

DSCN6854As we complete our first year and a half of in the Associate Office, it seems fitting to share some of our learnings and to be accountable for our service to the IHM community.

While we work as a team, we continue to grow in team leadership through the work we do. We work together in service to IHM Associates through weekly updating, collaboration and balancing responsibilities. As a team, we provide a welcoming and pastoral presence in our work with associate candidates, IHM mentors, associate recruiting, interviewing, coordination of associate covenant celebrations and facilitating the Associate Council.

In improving communication and engagement of IHM Associates, we strive to increase membership and to integrate associates more fully into the mission, prayer and life of the IHM community. Through monthly articles in Connections and utilizing ZOOM for meetings, we brought together associates, candidates, novices and temporary professed at great distances to share in the Roots and Relationships Program begun in September 2016.

As we move into our second year, working together remains central for us. In the book, The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player, John Maxwell outlines practical ways to be an effective team player. He speaks about working together taking precedence over “winning together.” We collaborate; each of us bringing something to the table. We have come to see that becoming a collaborative team requires a change in focus in four ways.

First, seeing our teammate as collaborator, not competitor, by recognizing the goal is completing one another in the tasks. Second, having an attitude that assumes each person’s motives are for the good. Third, by keeping the focus on the team, not on ourselves, we are like athletes in a relay race, passing the baton to each other as needed to move toward true progress. Fourth, we have found that working together results in far more progress in reaching collective goals.

Ultimately, the whole point of the Associate Office is to propose ideas and processes that involve IHMs and Associates toward the IHM Mission. The work becomes more than the team, expanding beyond ourselves in order to serve others, which in this case, is to value and promote the presence of IHM Associates in mission with the IHM Sisters.

We have identified some positive challenges. Working as an effective team player is an ongoing call to self-reflection and vulnerability. We attend to each other’s ebb and flow in order to achieve the tasks we are committed to achieving. We keep each other inspired as well as realistic to the task/goal. Most importantly, we have learned to keep our sense of humor in working together.