Welcome to aea365! Please take a moment to review our new community guidelines. Learn More.

MN EA Week: Leah Goldstein Moses on Cultivating Relationships

Hi, I am Leah Goldstein Moses, current President of the Minnesota Evaluation Association (MNEA) and founder of the Improve Group. In both roles, relationships are very important—to both our success and joy. How do you cultivate relationships that energize and support you – and allow you to give in return?

Hot tip 1: Find a “home” in a community (or several). I have been fortunate to be active in Minnesota’s evaluation community through the MNEA. By serving on the Board and attending events, I meet other evaluators, learn about their work, and get ideas. I’ve also found communities among non-evaluators in specific sectors –arts, criminal justice, health, etc. – that keep me up-to-date, and allow me to share information across communities.

Rad resource: I highly recommend being involved in a community focused on evaluation. The Minnesota Evaluation Association serves evaluators across the upper Midwest; you can find other affiliates online. If there isn’t a local affiliate, join a topical interest group, the AEA LinkedIn group, or the evaltalk listserv – each have active members that are committed to the field.

Hot tip 2: Nurture relationships. You can nurture a relationship by giving something (i.e., an idea, resource, etc.), requesting something (problem-solving, resources, connections), or simply acknowledging the importance of the relationship. I try to balance the frequency of posing and answering questions in the communities I belong to; I also thank profusely! The MNEA board meets monthly, providing regular opportunities to connect; for the other communities I participate in, I try to attend events semi-regularly and contribute to forums several times per year.

Hot tip 3: Allow technology to help you. I use social media to keep in touch with my colleagues when we can’t meet in person. For example, for MNEA, we are experimenting with webinars as a way to meet. I use LinkedIn extensively, and follow people on Twitter. I find it energizing—but also a bit maddening–to dip into the chatter of social media periodically. To keep myself sane, I try to cluster my social media use into a few segments per week, and then I can easily work across platforms.

Twin Cities Hot Tip: Build your relationships with a fun visit to Minneapolis for the 2012 Evaluation conference! Be sure to take time to get to know each other and socialize at some of our wonderful local restaurants and attractions. One of my favorites is the Mill City Museum. This quirky little museum packs a lot of history about the development of the upper Midwest into a small space, and has a delicious bakery/coffee shop inside. My children (age 6 and 9) also love it, if you plan to make a family vacation out of the conference.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Minnesota Evaluation Association (MN EA) Affiliate Week with our colleagues in the MNEA AEA Affiliate. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our MNEA members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.