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Who We Are ~~ The Electronic Gazette for Volunteerism

The Training Page of Volunteer Today has practical trainer techniques and activities to make orientation sessions more productive and valuable. There are also ideas to help enhance the professional volunteer managers training level.
~ April 2003 ~Topics

Should I Quit My Job? A Decision Making Strategy

Anyone who manages people is often faced with tough choices. Developing different decision making strategies provides for a healthy future and sometimes personal sanity. Here is an exercise to that can be used to make decisions of the most important kind.

Imagine you are unhappy on your job and considering whether to quit. Resigning is but one option. What are the other actions you could take to improve this situation? Pretend you are a hired “decision consultant.” Ask yourself, “What Else?" and think of other alternative possiblities before deciding. Look for new territory. Seek solutions to increase your freedom of choice. Try writing the ideas down in the following chart.
Directions: Consider the types of choices listed in the left hand column. What else could you do that would be an example of that type of choice?



You could steal organizational resources or money so you would be fired. (Seems like a silly, “What else?” but creativity means forcing your brain to work outside its normal patterns. Below are more choices, your task is to think of alternative possibilities and new solutions.)









This decision making model can be applied to other work or personal choices.

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Closing Exercise to Review Content

Reviewing the content covered in training sessions for volunteers is a big step in aiding retention. Here is a clever means to keep people focused during training and a tool to conduct a review at the end.

  • Provide each person with a nametag on which there is a question about som area of content that will be covered during the training session. Tell each person to pay attention to this topic during the session, as they will be asked about it at the end. (It is also helpful to encourage people to note the questions of their fellow learners and help one another have answers before the session is over.)
  • At the end of the training session each person reads the question on his/her tag and then gives the answer. The other class participants decide if the answers are correct or not. Wrong answers are corrected by the group.

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Test Your ALQ

The more a trainer knows about how adults learn the better chance they will construct effective training sessions. Test your Adult Learning Quotient in this quiz.

Directions: Read each statement and decide if it is true + or false 0. Mark your answer.



Adults use previous experiences to learn new information.

Trainers can make people learn by having very entertaining lectures.

An evaluation is not necessary when training adults.

Physical factors can impair learning for an adult (vision, mobility, hearing).

There are four predominant characteristics of an adult learning group; it is heterogeneous, learners are self-motivated, learners are attentive to the use of time, learners can experience a lack of confidence in their ability to learn.

Interested in more information? Check out our online bookstore for An Introduction to Helping Adults Learn and Change, authored by Russell D. Robinson. Helping Adults Learn Book Recruiting & Retention book Image

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Interested in assessing volunteer and staff relations in your program?

Looking for help from an expert?

Get help with one of the Volunteer Program Evaluation Series.


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 Thank Roseanne Mirabella, of Seton Hall University for keeping up with this list.

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