Think about a potential volunteer’s questions when navigating your site. “Who is the first person I will meet? Who will train me, direct me, encourage me, coach me, teach me what I need to know to succeed? Who will be there for me when I have an issue?”
Are we, volunteer managers lone nuts? Is no one listening? Do we whine, cajole, beg, furiously educate, preach, go back and squeeze our stress ball, then start again?
When you hear a volunteer laughingly repeat, “I know, we’re all valuable in making this change work,” you’re on the right track.
It takes emotional time and energy to be an empathetic listener. Are we being emotionally drained or are we benefiting from empathetic listening?
Unlike HR folks, who contend with active staff, volunteer managers are tethered to every volunteer, whether they are actively volunteering or they’re rotating in the periphery.
Are organizations V2O friendly or are we more like a V-mart where we offer a “take it or leave it” engagement experience?
Nonprofits no longer have the monopoly on solving issues. What can business teach us about our current volunteering model?
I think we, volunteer managers tend to deny our negative feelings because we’re always “on.” We’re looked at as cheerful people with can-do attitudes and we don’t think we can have bad days. But we can. Because we’re human and our human-ness is what makes us so darned effective.
We, volunteer managers can get stuck in a rut, even though our days are varied and utterly unpredictable. I remember …
…volunteering is the freedom to be human. It’s complicated, but so basic. Volunteering can peel away the everyday pressures we feel and free us to be our most genuine human selves, the selves we yearn to be.