| Volunteer Training and Professional
The Training page for Volunteer Today has historically focused on tips for trainers. Each issue will now have information on some aspect of professional development for managers of volunteers and some articles on how to be a better trainer of volunteers. The author of this page, Nancy Macduff, is open to ideas and suggestions from readers on what might be useful information in the area of professional development. You can email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
~ September 2007 ~ Topics
Adults As Self-Learners
Much of what adults learn does not take place in the workplace or voluntary organizations, but as a solitary endeavor. Here are some tidbits from the experts on adults as solitary learners.
Why is this important information for the manager of volunteers? As the technology allows and volunteers grow scarce, managers of volunteers need to explore ways to "train" volunteers online. Solitary learning is already something people know how to do, and the effective manager of volunteers is wise to harness that skill and make learning easy, requiring no meeting attendance.
Allen Tough, Intentional Changes: A Fresh Approach to Helping People Change. Chicago, Follett, 1982
We now have downloadable books available in PDF format. Check out our online bookstore for Handling Problem Volunteers by Steve McCurley and Sue Vineyard now available electronically.
The Power of Non-Verbal Communication
Nonverbal communication has enormous power. In measuring the impact of communication some researchers have found that the bulk of the impact is nonverbal. 7% is verbal (the words we say); 38% is tone of voice (which is considered nonverbal) and all the rest is nonverbal-gestures, artifacts, environment, and more.
Some volunteers work in sensitive contact positions where their nonverbal communication is as important as their verbal. If you are training such volunteers here is an exercise to tune them into the messages sent nonverbally.
COLLEGE PROGRAMS ON NONPROFIT AND VOLUNTEER MANAGEMENT
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://tltc.shu.edu/npo/. Thank Roseanne Mirabella, of Seton Hall University for keeping up with this list.
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