Training is not about the leader talking (Talking is not training and listening is not learning!). It is about arranging activities so people can learn. Being able to ask questions and listen is essential to good teaching. Here are five tips.
Tip 1: Use soliciting questions - Asking people their opinion about something is often referred to as the "good pupil" questions. Asking a specific person can be seen as a compliment. These are not "stumper" questions, but rather those where the person is sharing an opinion.
Tip 2: Use commitment questions - Try using a leading question, "If I can convince you that this is the best way to do this, by the end of the training session, will you agree to go along with me?" This allows you and the learner some "wiggle" room and it assumes that learners can grow and change during the session.
Tip 3: Ask clarifying questions - Do not race to answer questions. Have the person asking the question confirm your understanding. Repeat the question and have the person elaborate or correct your perceptions. How many times have you seen a trainer answer a question, only to have the learner say, "Well, that is not what I was asking about."
Tip 4: Ask questions to help you learn - This is really a listening tip. Open-ended questions, "Well, how should we be handling this situation?" requires that you pay attention and concentrate on what the volunteer or staff member is saying. When people feel they are being heard it raises their self-esteem and respect for the listener.
Tip 5: Listen and then follow-up - As the person to elaborate on their idea. If someone expresses an opinion and stops you might say, "That's interesting." This is usually enough to encourage more communication.
IMPLICATION - So what do all these facts and projections mean for your program? You no doubt have some ideas. We would love to share them with our readers. Send your observations about the impact on your program of technology to our Web Master via email at email@example.com. In your subject line type "tech observations" to help the Web Master filter the email. We'll collect the best ideas and publish them in a future issue of Volunteer Today.
Are there days when you think about changing jobs . . .all day? Does the grass look greener anywhere but where you are? Here is a simple test to assess your level of engagement and compare it to 50,000 people in 615 different types of organizations. Provant, Inc., a Boston-based provider of performance improvement products and services, created it.
Think about your job and in the columns below list your level of agreement with the 17 words. Put the appropriate number in the box provided.
Total all the numbers _________________
Divide the number by 68 _________________
Multiply by 100 _________________
Final Score _________________
*Remember: Taking this test doesn't tell you if you should leave your job, but it is one indicator of your motivational level.*
100 or over - You are fulfilled on the job and in the top 25% of employees in this study on the basis of motivation
92-99 - Basically fulfilled and in the second quartile
83-91 - You are "hanging in there" and in the third quartile
82 or less - You have a "motivational deficit and are in the bottom quartile
- Canadian Centre for Social Entrepreneurship
Faculty of Business
University of Alberta, Edmonton
- Community and Not-For-Profit Leadership Program
The Banff Centre for Management
- Interdisciplinary Studies in Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Management
The Centre for Voluntary Sector Studies
Faculty of Business, Ryerson Polytechnic University
- Nonprofit Management and Leadership Program
Simon Fraser University
Vancouver, British Columbia
- Nonprofit Sector Leadership Program
Henson College, Dalhousie Univeristy
Halifax, Nova Scotia
- Non-Profit Sector Management Certificate Program
Vancouver Community College Continuing Education
- Nonprofit and Management and Leadership Program
Schulich School of Business
- The McGill-McConnell Program for National Voluntary Sector Leaders
Faculty of Management, McGill University
Close to 200 colleges and universities offer academic programs on nonprofit and volunteer sector management. They are usually master's degree programs, but not always. American Humanics sponsors undergraduate programs, as well. If you are looking to push out the professional development window, consider taking a course at one of these colleges. A full list resides at http://pirate.shu.edu/~mirabero. Thank Roseanne Mirabella, of Seton Hall University for keeping up with this list.