Being zombified means through stressors, you’ve lost your vitality, your human essence. You’ve lost you.
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.
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 …
When a volunteer connects, it’s the best feeling, right? We, volunteer managers love the whole ethereal, elusive, empathetic realm, don’t …
…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.
Here’s the thing. I think we must stop telling volunteers that “helping people” will make them feel good.
Instead of the notion that a volunteer manager should “work harder” to “get volunteers,” we need to place the reasons volunteers leave or never get started squarely on the outdated systems that no longer work.