By Barbara Wilson, Director of Recovery Coordination Program Training and Sandra Mason, Deputy Director of Recovery Coordination Progam
It goes without saying that an elevator speech is not just limited to elevators. You can use an effective elevator speech that demonstrates your skills and value in any setting, and the more you use your elevator speech the more opportunities you will have for networking. Networking is essential to forming and maintaining a solid circle of contacts that Recovery Care Coordinators (RCCs) or Non-Medical Care Managers can reach out to coordinate assistance and support for recovering Service members and their families.
As a Recovery Care Coordinator, you should be prepared to talk about your role and responsibilities both internally and externally. We sometimes assume that everyone in our organization knows who we are and what we do; that is not always the case. RCCs should seek opportunities to meet and talk to colleagues and new coworkers. Don't forget to exchange contact information or business cards and by all means, follow up !
Also remember that establishing a network is only half the battle; your networks of contacts and resources also need to be maintained. Take the time to start a database of contacts that includes names, email addresses and phone numbers, as well as the affiliated agency or services they provide. A comprehensive database or directory is the equivalent of a gold mine or a treasure chest; in other words, it contains a wealth of information that will help you get ahead and stay ahead as you support recovering Service members and families.
By now an RCC might be wondering, "How do I do this on top of all of my other responsibilities?" The better question might be, "How can I afford not to carefully maintain my network?" Think about how long it will take you to remember the person you met on the elevator who works in the Family Support Center, or the person you met at the staff meeting who handles military pay. And when you do finally remember their name, how long will it take you to find their direct number? I am sure that you are starting to see the picture! Just a few extra moments spent maintaining a solid network of resources today will save you hours down the line. Instead, you can spend those hours working directly with Service members and families to help identify and meet their needs, which is your most important responsibility of all.