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Gardian of the Month: Kelly Turner

Q & A with Kelly Turner, president and CEO of Michigan Society of Association Executives

Q: Learn: Let’s say you’re helping your child or friend with some homework. What’s your strategy for helping them learn a difficult topic? 

A: I like to start by reviewing the process that was taught in class by the instructor. From there I try to garner an understanding about where the disconnect is for my child and the material and work to explain the information from a different perspective to see if that resonates. I ask a lot of questions and try to get my child to view the material differently until it actually clicks. I end up using scenarios and comparisons to bring in situations that my child understands well to help them extrapolate to the new topic.

Q: Network: Social media or face-to-face? Which form of networking is better and why? 

A: Both are necessary and one is not better than the other. Personal preference depends on the goal for the networking opportunity. For sparking new relationships, face-to-face generally wins out, mostly because we are human and non-verbal communication imprints on our psyche more than we like to admit. Face-to-face helps to grow and strengthen relationships as well. Social media networking plays a huge role in surfacing potential new relationships and for helping to maintain relationships until the next face-to-face opportunity comes along.

Q: Transfer: Let’s say you attended a certification course. What would be your first step in applying what you learned? 

A: I like to compare what I am currently doing to what I learned I should be doing. If I identify areas that I stray from best practices, I ask a lot of questions to determine if there are special circumstances that account for the deviation. If there are not extenuating circumstances, I put a plan in place to adopt best practices and to educate those around me about the change made and reasoning’s for why so that others can be brought into the conversation.

Q: Please share with us a resource you can’t live without.
A: In the age where information is at our fingertips, I am cautious to ensure that the information I am reading is real and truthful. One way to do this is to use scholar.google.com when I don’t have access to a university online database with peer reviewed materials. I also like the Nonprofit Quarterly Daily Newswire to keep my finger on the pulse of the association industry beyond Michigan.

Q: Just for fun: chocolate, strawberry or vanilla ice cream? Why? 

A: Any kind! Researchers have found that eating ice cream actually makes you happy when you eat it. Eating ice cream triggers the orbitofrontal cortex, which is part of the brain that activates when people are enjoying themselves. This is actual research done back in 2005. Who doesn’t need a scientific reason to eat ice cream?

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