Part of the Please don’t Volunteer – 9 part series
There are many benefits to contributing to your professional association or community group. Knowing your objectives and being conscious of them throughout your engagement will guide you to maximize your impact. What are your objectives?
Have you ever been on a board or committee and there is that one person who shows up late, who comes across aggressive, or whose voice never enters into the conversation?
Have you ever wondered why that individual decided to be on the board or join that committee in the first place?
What’s interesting is that disruptive or passive individual probably has an objective for volunteering. His or her behaviour is likely flying in the face of achieving that very objective. Worse, it affects everyone and the overall objectives of the organization, board and/or committee.A Professional Contributor knows their personal and professional objectives, acts in-line with them, and focuses on executing all commitments aligning with the objectives of the organization they serve. #MyContributionCounts Click To Tweet
A Professional Contributor knows their personal and professional objectives, acts in-line with them, and focuses on executing all commitments aligning with the objectives of the organization they serve.
Knowing what your objective is when participating in any professional contribution initiative will be critical in evaluating your impact. According to Volunteer Canada, knowing one’s contribution has made a difference is the best recognition a volunteer can receive.
Consider some of the personal and professional objectives you may have in contributing to a community group, non-profit, charity, or professional association.
- Expand a skill
- Develop a new skill
- Acquiring new knowledge
- Expand your network
- Connect to the community
- Heighten your profile
- Demonstrate leadership
- Add to your resume
- Serve your industry
- Improve the quality of life
- Gain confidence
- Find a new job
- Promote a more inclusive community
- Have a stake in how your community evolves
- Give your energy to a cause you believe in
- Share your knowledge
- Feel better physically and psychologically
- Gain a sense of living a more holistic and meaningful life
- Camaraderie, a sense of community
- Set an example for your children or society at large
- Have new experience
- Spiritual growth
- Learn about new cultures or social challenges
- Share thought leadership
- Opportunity for self-expression
A good course of action is to pick two or three objectives, and keep them at the forefront as you implement any task or engage with other board or committee members. For example, if your objective is to have business referred to you, consider how you show up for meetings. Are you late, unprepared? These actions likely won’t produce a favourable impression. In order for our personal objectives to be achieved, we first need to meet the objectives of the group or organization. Being on a committee, by sheer nature, requires us to collaborate with others to achieve the goals and objectives.
Professional Contributors will best serve their objectives by collaborating with C.A.R.E.
C- Communicate: Your perspective.
- Does it advance the conversation? Or do you just want your voice heard?
- If you and another committee member experience tension, communicate with them directly.
- Are you communicating your perspective in a clear, concise, and convincing manner?
A – Attend – Give your attention.
- Focus your eyes, ears, and hearts on one person at a time.
- Are you listening to other’s perspectives without judgement?
- Are you demonstrating a genuine interest in the other person?
R – Respect – Other’s perspectives, differences, and timelines.
- Are you on time for meetings?
- Are you prepared?
E – Execute – Collaboratively.
- Are there other people that can assist with the successful execution?
- Are you executing on committed tasks?
- Are you asking questions within the context of serving the mission, not the messenger?
Professional Contributors add so much value to an organization. With clear objectives, they move the overall goals forward professionally, for themselves and the organization as a whole. How are you demonstrating that you are not a volunteer, but a Professional Contributor?
Make your contributions count.
- What impression have I created in the past? How did I create it?
- What are my objectives when contributing to a board or community group?
- What behaviour will I uphold to ensure I meet my objectives?
Until next time, make your contributions count.
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