Please don’t volunteer – Communicate expectations

Professional Contributions - communicate expectations

Part of the Please don’t Volunteer – 9 part series

Professional Contributors pick opportunities where they feel they can have an impact while staying true to their purpose, objectives, and skill. Realizing where you can move a mandate forward is half the battle; the other half is getting the association and community group to agree with your assessment.

Please don't volunteer! Learn why Professional Contributors are more satisfied and have greater impact #YouMeWeMovement #MyContributionCounts Click To Tweet

When sitting on a particular National Board, my goal was clear. I believed that our association would be able to collaborate more productively, gain brand equity, connect more emotionally, and impact more profoundly if we collectively contributed to the mental health issue in our perspective communities. When I communicated my objective and expectations with the President, he said, “Although the idea was a noble cause this was not the time.” He proceeded to tell me that the right time would come.


Controlling my expectations put me in a position of power. I was able to decide, is this association the right fit for me? Or will this organization at some point embrace my vision? And if yes, will they need my knowledge and skill to move them toward the objective? I believed the later. As a result, I became an active member, doing what needed to get done, so I could do what other members and I felt should be done. Once I was President, I was able to collaborate with like-minded members to move toward a community contribution of speaking to the public about healthy minds and well-being.

Regardless of your role, it is in everyone’s best interest to communicate your expectations of the contribution experience. It is also essential to elicit what the organisation’s expectations are of you so that you both can come to an agreement.


Communicate your expectations:

  1. At the beginning of embarking on a role, ask what the organization’s expectations are of me?
  2. Communicate what my expectations are to the group.
  3. What are the timelines to implement my and the organization’s expectations?


Professional Contribution - communicate expectationsIt is also valuable to communicate expectation continuously. Once you become exposed to the depth of the issue and the expanse of opportunities, both you and the organization’s expectations of each other can change. Continued communication will allow for continued engagement. Without it, a contributor can become non-contributing.

Consider also communicating your objectives to your fellow professional contributors so they will have clear expectations of you and context for your contribution. This will also encourage them to be aware of other opportunities within or outside the initiative that could help you reach your objectives and goal.

In the next weWednesday, we will cover one of the most critical elements that differentiate a Professional Contributor from a volunteer. So, stay tuned.


Until next time, make your contribution count. #MyContributionCounts #YouMeWeMovement



  1. At the beginning of embarking on a role, ask what the organization’s expectations are of me?
  2. Communicate what my expectations are to the group.
  3. What are the timelines to implement my and the organization’s expectations?


Join us for weWednesday  – a short weekly video infusion of how to live your most meaningful life by consciously contributing to your community, country, and beyond. Subscribe on the right to weWednesdays to receive it in your inbox, or find out more here.


suzanne f stevens youmewe founder
Suzanne F. Stevens, Conscious-Contributor™ Cultivator
Certified Speaking Professional, (CSP)
Social entrepreneur |Professional Speaker | Host | Author | Philanthropist

YouMeWe ignites leaders & entrepreneurs to cultivate a culture of conscious-contributions™ to the community. The Impact: Improving social gaps while attracting, engaging, and retaining colleagues, collaborators, and clients or customers.


Book launch coming soon: YouMeWe: lead tomorrow’s legacy today

2017 National President: Canadian Association of Professional Speakers (CAPS)
Awards: TIAW World of Difference Recipient for women economic empowering
Accreditation: Suzanne is one of 65 Certified Speaking Professionals (CSP) in Canada and is in the exclusive 15% of speakers who have this designation internationally.

Attracting, retaining, clients and colleagues

You are invited to join the conversation ... share your comments on Facebook by checking the tick-box before you post!

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field