Like any good football match – there’s (in my opinion) two “teams” that matter in terms of my own SW journey. Team 1 is the group (and you can read my views on the importance of group over here). I’m not going to rehash that – just move onto team 2 – the social team.
“Second or Third”?
There are three aspects to a good SW group in my opinion.
Firstly – the consultant – a good consultant is worth their three times their weight in gold. Then there’s the choice of either:
- The people who stay to group
- The social team.
Let me explain. Whilst a good consultant is a large part of what makes a good group, the people who stay to group are just as essential a part of the equation – without a good bunch of people in the room, Image Therapy (that support/advise bit of group that happens after everyone is weighed) is flat, boring and not interesting at all. So “Good Consultant” + “good people” = a great group. But group wouldn’t function without the “social team” – that bunch of people behind the tables taking your money and getting you to step on the scales.
I’m writing this as a member of the social team (and have been on and off since 2010). This post could just as easily be called “Why I am a part of the social team”.
I am also familiar with all the common parts of the social team – I can/do run the pay station. I can jump on the weigh desk, or I can play shop keeper or pimping out raffle tickets. You can sometimes see me collecting empty cups (thankfully the venue my consultant uses has a dishwasher). I even make a half decent director of traffic (i.e. keeping people moving in the right direction and helping keep the queues moving to). I’ve also been known to be a wildlife wrangler but I don’t expect too many groups have the situation of a bird flying into the room.
What is the “Social Team”?
As I say above – it’s that bunch of people who sit behind the pay desk and take your card and money (unless of course you are at target, a Free-to-Go member or on a countdown – in which case they just take your card). They are the people behind the table who do work the scales. And the people who take your money at the shop, sell raffle tickets (in those groups that run a raffle – not all do for various reason). Some groups will also have a member of the social team who keeps the kitchen/drinks area tidy.
Why do I do it?
Well, I will say it’s definitely not for the money. We don’t get paid (I believe that Slimming World’s rules do not allow the consultant to pay the social team).
No, for me (and other people’s reasons may vary) it’s in part a way of “giving back” and being a little more involved. Plus it’s a way of continuing my commitment to myself to be at group each week as well as adding a bit of a routine/structure in my life. On top of that, as I’m often also there for either setting up or cleaning down – I get a bit of a work out too.
There’s a couple of other “pros” to being on the social team as well. It allows me the opportunity to have to use my brain (in terms of totalling things up if I’m working on the shop – yes there are calculators but hey I’m weird and like to do it in my head instead). I get to interact with the other members (each and every member if I’m doing pay or weigh) as well as forcing me slightly outside my comfort zone in having to do so.
Would I Recommend Becoming Part of the Social Team to Others?
Hell Yeah – if that’s what you want. There’s no special skills required – you do not need to know the plan inside out. In fact it’s probably a bonus to not knowing the plan inside out (Social Team are not replacements for the consultant. The consultant has had training from Slimming World, the social team hasn’t). You don’t need to be IT literate. You don’t have to be at/near target either. Nor do you don’t have to be a maths genius – so long as you can use a calculator. There’s no “selling” involved either – even on the shop – yes, people may ask for advise on “which Hi-Fi bar is best?” or “which of these books do you recommend?” but that’s always going to be down to personal tastes/opinions. You don’t have to help set up/clear down if that’s not your thing.
But you do need to be able to relate to people (even more so if you’re doing the weigh). You do need to be at the venue at least slightly earlier then start time (how early depends on the consultant – each has their own tastes/preferences) but you do (typically) get to weigh first (but again – depends on the consultant). There is an element of commitment too – it helps to be there most weeks. That said – if you don’t feel up to it one week – then that’s not usually a problem (but it’d only be good manners to let the consultant know ahead of time so they can find someone to step in).
You can be involved at whatever level you want to be involved at is what I’m trying to say. There is no commitment except what you want to commit to.
At the end of the day though – being part of the social team is its own reward.
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