Apology or conflict avoidance?

Avoiding conflict is not always a bad thing but there is always a battle between ‘making life easy’ and having those conversations that are necessary for an individual’s growth. 

If 2 people fall out, rather than seek to put right behaviour, we will seek to cover over the problem with a well worded apology that carries little meaning. We become satisfied with 2nd best and miss an opportunity for growth. 

If we avoid the behaviour change, we will just store up the problem for a later date. Getting it sorted early is more beneficial for everyone. It may involve an apology but any apology must be one from the heart that carries behaviour change and must never be used to prevent a deeper work of correction and improvement. 

too busy for volunteers

We all know the dream. Imagine the possibilities, the things we could achieve, the lives we could change….IF ONLY…we had more volunteers. Then the world would be in a good place. WRONG!

Usually those dreams centre around capacity building and fail to consider the relational requirements of teams and especially requirements of teams who are full of volunteers. If you want to build a volunteer team, you must drop some of your own engagement with the frontline work and invest into those who sacrificial my give time. If you do not…you will not increase capacity, you will increase frustration. 

Sometimes we are just to busy and the fall guys are those who willingly give their time. Don’t be too busy to help your team. If you want to grow, it is essential. 

Treat volunteers as a fully paid staff member, the rewards for the organisation will be huge. Clear job roles, clear line management, good training, proper support, annual reviews, feedback…..etc. 

You get the picture, if not you are too busy for volunteers. 

Volunteers, the life givers

Having worked in the third sector for a number of years, it has intrigued me as to how different organisations and people engage with volunteers. Standards vary, practices are diverse and the poor management of these crucial people often leads to poor retention rates. A few thoughts;

1) Treat them like precious gold – they are usually the most motivated and  believe in what you are doing.

2) Treat them as you would a salaried staff member – why drop standards of care, support and management? These folk are precious.

3) Offer good support – they believe in you, do you believe in them?

4) They enhance your work – yet, many organisations see them as an imposition. 

5) they will be your greatest ambassadors – they have chosen to work with you, to support you and to enhance your work. Treat them well and they will also tell the world how great you are.

Blue Sky Thinking or Grey Sky Management

We have all been in meetings when we have been encouraged to think ‘outside the box’, ‘use a blank sheet of paper’ and ‘blue sky dream’. They are nothing new. However, the success of these meetings is dependent upon the attendees, the preparation and the ability to listen. Blue sky thinking quickly deteriorates into a rainy day when the managers begin to see the problems too soon and the potential for new things is swamped by the clouds of past failings.  Setting up these meetings well is so important.

Here are a few steps that may help;

  1. Determine who will attend – these meetings need more creatives than managers. You want ideas to flow without restraint, in the initial stages, and therefore require the big thinkers.
  2. Guard the ‘rules of the meeting’ – the chair of the meeting needs to ensure that all voices are heard. However, this is not enough, the chair of the meeting must also ensure that clouds are not allowed to form – stay strong in this.
  3. Every new idea matters – there is nothing in blue sky thinking that should be out of bounds, the limitations come in the next stages of discussion.
  4. Positive energy – the meeting should be positive thinking, leave the negative views at the door.
  5. Reward the thinkers – rewards take all shapes and forms but we need to credit those who come up with new ideas, they are the lifeblood of any organisation and prevent stagnation. If we value these people, they will continue to contribute to the benefit of everyone. They are often taking a big personal risk in sharing their ideas.
  6. Listen well – attendees must listen to absorb what is said. Then ideas can flourish – we often listen to argue with what is said, this is not listening, it is combat!

There are many more that could be added to the list, these are just for starters…..keep dreaming!

Zig Ziglar Quote

“the Will, Skill, and Refill philosophy is a foundation of all of our personal and corporate training. This is how it works: Will—this is the “want to.” This is the heart, the desire, the attitude, the passion that people have. Skill—this is the “how to.” This is the skill, the process, the technical expertise that people have. Refill—this is reinforcing the Will and Skill. There is no such thing as “one and done” training and development. Will and Skill must be developed and reinforced daily”

Zig Ziglar “Born to Win”

Good Quote Friday

Unfortunately, I have forgotten which book these first quotes came from – will try and recover those details and will amend

 

“A mentor is an acknowledged expert who is able to share experiences, past successes and failings in a manner that builds trust”

“Mentoring is an experience, not a destination”

“Recognise behaviours as well as results”

“Recognition is inexpensive – lack of recognition can be costly”

“People must be taught how to think, not what to think” – Margaret Mead