Inspire, Motivate, Facilitate – and Organize
In our Jeeping, volunteer world there’s a trick to leading volunteers. We do not wear rank and cannot scream orders like we’re in the military. We need to learn to be more nurturing and coaching, while still getting things done. Here’s some magical tips that will do that.
We all participate in events, runs, convoys, trail cleanups, club meetings, show and shines, and community activities. Someone has to lead these. Here’s how it can be you.
Leading a club event, cleanup or just a bunch of volunteers trying to make a difference is not as hard as you might think. In fact, there’s a formula. (smile)
It’s starts by realizing that if more people don’t step up to the plate and get volunteers moving and doing, the effort will dwindle or die.
Then wrap your head around the fact that with a little effort on your part, you won’t lose face by leading folks who want to do something good.
And one more tip before we get to the formula. You must be a coach who nurtures and takes in all the ideas – not a drill sergeant. You wear no rank when leading volunteers. While you can provide directions; you are not really giving orders.
So, what is the formula, you ask? Try this.
1. INSPIRE: This means to impel, to influence, or to stimulate some creative or effective effort.
2. MOTIVATE: In volunteerism, this is where you incite or prompt to action; to be the incentive to cause motion.
3. FACILITATE: In simplest of terms, if you are facilitating you are making things easier. Offering ways to eliminate hassles.
4. ORGANIZE: This means having your ducks in order; having a plan (like with RICS); having expectations and objections clearly articulated; and giving people real jobs with “supervision” that is more nurturing and coaching.
Don’t leave your followers adrift in a foggy sea; give nurturing yet clear directions to get things done.
Here’s another way to look at this formula, in shortcut terms:
ASK, don’t’ order.
BE nice; use honey not vinegar.
SAY thank you every chance you get.
LEARN the language of your volunteers and how they respond to new information.
SEEK to speak in terms your volunteers understand.
FEED your volunteers at the end of the day if you can.
There is a lot to leading people in any circumstances, but I hope these tips motivate you to get a few more tips. ?
More from ModernJeeper and the Recreational Incident Command System (RICS) here.
Here’s another take on leading volunteers and more on Expectations and Objectives here.