Invitational Meetings: Interacting with PNMs

Do you remember what it was like to be a PNM? Maybe you got an email or saw a poster in the library or heard about it from your best friend’s roommate. So you show up to the Invitational Meeting wanting to learn more. You walk into the room to find a bunch of people you don’t know (yet), and it feels a little awkward. You’re thinking you might turn around and walk out the door when a smiling face in a purple shirt walks right up to you, hand outstretched, and says something like, “I’m so glad you’re here!” The rest is history.

A well-known quote from Dr. Maya Angelou reads, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

I’m sure you’re thinking, “Really? I’ve been planning and prepping for months and you’re telling me that none of that matters? The emails, the decorations, the food, the PowerPoint presentation… it was all for nothing?” Nope. All of that matters. A lot actually. But not as much as making the most of every interaction with the Potential New Members who want to join your Chapter.

Want to make Potential New Members feel welcomed, wanted and valued? Want them to leave your Invitational Meeting feeling like they could see themselves as part of your Chapter?

Here are a few things to try:

interacting-with-pnms

Be Attentive.
You probably have a million things on your mind, but right now, at this moment, you should be 100% focused on the PNM in front of you. Use good eye contact, smile, pay attention to them when they talk. Nothing is more important than getting to know them in that moment.

Be Curious.
Ask questions. If you want to get to know someone you have to ask questions about who they are, what they think, what they do. These don’t have to be deep thought-provoking questions with complex answers, but go beyond the typical “where are you from?” and “what’s your major?” when you can. Show them you want to know more. Not sure what to ask a PNM at Invitational Meetings? LiA is here to save the day again with this awesome video!

Be Genuine.
Most people can smell a phony from a mile away. It might be hard to start a conversation with someone you don’t know, but, if you show that you are genuinely interested in getting to know them, you’ll both feel more at ease. There’s no pressure. Just be yourself, and the other person will follow your lead.

Be Professional.
Your actions and your words reflect on the Fraternity. Be yourself, but carry yourself in a professional manner. Shake hands and introduce yourself. Avoid topics that may not be appropriate and use language that reflects our Tripod.

Here’s a little-known fact about PNMs: they are people. Just regular humans looking for connection and community like you and me. If you’ve taken Psychology 101 you know all about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, and the need to belong is a big one.

Phi Sigma Pi offers a lot of awesome opportunities and resources to its Members, but none of those things matter if you don’t feel a part of things. When a Potential New Member walks into an Invitational Meeting, they likely have questions about a lot of things like, how much are the dues? Can I balance this and work and school and…? How will this make me a better student? Person? Candidate for a great job? But none of those questions are as important as, “Do I belong here?” Yes. You do.

Check out the PNM POV video to get a glimpse inside of a PNMs mind during an Invitational Meeting and for tips on how to create an environment that promotes interaction!


Leadership in ActionDid you RSVP to the Leadership in Action Tweet & Eat all about Recruitment happening on Monday, January 16? What are you waiting for?! Get some recruitment tips, ask questions and share your successes all while earning 1 LiA point.

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