VolunteerToday.com~~ The Electronic Gazette
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 manager's training level.
One part of training courses that is often skipped is
the review. The excuse is: "I ran out of time." There are several
causes for running out of time: too much content for the time allotted,
lack of control of interactive activitiesespecially small groups,
starting late. It is important for the trainer to exert control over the
training so the review is never skipped.
It is possible to keep reviews to 5 minutes or less.
This training review is slightly longer, but extremely thorough and is
appropriate for in-depth training, rather than an orientation.
Post on the wall enough blank easel paper sheets so
a small group can be seated in front of it, with someone from the group
serving as scribe. It would be anywhere between 3 and 12 people.
The learners are asked to review all the material they
received from the workshop and the notes they have taken. They are to
find main points made during training or good ideas they heard. One by
one, taking turns, the volunteers have the scribe write down the ideas.
This usually takes 5 minutes or less.
Reconvene the group and have each scribe read the list
from their group for everyone else to hear. The trainer should intervene
only if an item is unclear or needs more explanation.
an EDU-VACATION - April 26-29, 2005
Training for managers of volunteers,
leading to a certificate, is being held April 26-29, 2005. Sponsored by
Washington State University, the Volunteer Management Certificate Program
will be held in Port Hadlock, Washington, in the shadow of the Olympic
Mountains. Topics include:
Management and Supervision
Diversifying the Volunteer Pool
The Internet as the Manager's Next
Interactive Case Models based on student process
is the focus of Learning Activities.
For more information, visit the website at: http://www.emmps.wsu.edu/volunteer.
How many times have you asked someone
to chair a committee and then prayed they had the skills to carry
it off? Usually everything works out well, but why leave things to
chance! Here is a short outline that can be used to train those who
When a committee decides on a project, the
chair should get the person who has volunteered to do something
to summarize it for the group. Summaries by the chair only
show what the chair knows and that is not nearly as important
as knowing what the person doing the work thinks. "So,
Alysha, can you review for me the minutes and what you will
do before our next meeting?"
Always build in lead time for activities.
If an order must be placed by the 10th of the month, ask
the people in charge of that area to have it done by the
1st. This provides time for the inevitable "glitches."
Accept the fact that there will be glitches.
To think there will be no problems is bound to give everyone
a headache. Preplanning and acceptance of the occasional
problem lowers everyone's blood pressure.
Create reasonable deadlines. Volunteers
are doing their work part time, fitting it in around such
things as grocery shopping, soccer games, wash, birthday
parties, to name a few. Something in a work setting that
could be done in 10 days might take three to four weeks
by a volunteer. When the committee is setting deadlines,
the chair needs to keep them from over reaching!
Trainers are often asked questions
by learners. Here are some tips on different ways to respond.
Avoid one-word answers. "No" and "Yes"
are not helpful. Elaboration helps explain a general principle
or a policy.
Do not use "of course" as a response to mean yes.
It is easy to misinterpret that term to something like, "Yes,
that is the case and why are you so slow that you didn't get
it." It can be heard as insulting by the learner and
others in the group.
Turn the question back to the group. "That is an excellent
question. How would someone else in the class handle this?"
Turn the question back to the asker. "What a great
question. Before I respond, how would you answer the question,
if I weren't around?" Let them struggle a bit and affirm
the parts of the answer that are correct.
COLLEGE PROGRAMS ON NONPROFIT AND VOLUNTEER
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/kellogg.html.
Thank Roseanne Mirabella, of Seton Hall University for keeping up with