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Make Your Volunteers Try

Submitted by James Higginbotham on February 22, 2010 – 4:41 amNo Comment

Some children have a fear of trying. They believe that if they try and can’t do it, they will get in trouble. Is that how your volunteers view your leadership style? Do you allow your volunteers to try and fail?

Being a leader of volunteers, you must to find a balance between allowing volunteers to try anything and not letting them do anything at all. My experience shows that many leaders gravitate to one end or the other – all or nothing. They become the martyr and try to do it all themselves for fear of their volunteers failing, causing their volunteers to leave them. Or, they become the “do whatever” leader and let their volunteers run wild, potentially harming others.

Like parenting, we must find a way to allow them to fail while preventing them from hurting themselves or others in the process. Failure must be an option to them. This is how our Father works with us and it is how we must model leadership to them.

Beyond letting them try, we must make them try. Many volunteers are timid and are afraid to make mistakes. Create an environment where they are allowed to try – perhaps even forced to try something new or different that stretches them just a little beyond their comfort zone. You may be amazed at how they do if given the opportunity. They might even find a passion they never knew they had!

The beautiful thing is that when they try and succeed, you have done more for their confidence than words could ever do.

Ready to let your volunteers try?

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