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Establish a climate of trust

May 25, 2008 12:04 PM

Establish a climate of trust

· Honor each volunteer’s thoughts—even those different from your own

· Lay out procedures and process at beginning of term and honor it

· Follow through—do what you say you will or contact volunteer to explain something has changed

· Get to personally know everyone on the committee—find out something about each member

· Constantly reinforce the value of each member

· Listen and react to volunteers’ ideas

· Share information and reveal how money is spent

· What’s said in the room stays in the room

· Return emails and calls promptly

· Provide supplies or needs quickly upon request

· Learn each committee member’s name

· Share background bio with all members of committee

· Take deliberate steps for the induction of new members

· Distribute volunteer handbook to everyone on day one

· Avoid micromanagement—allow the members to do the tasks they’re working on

· Accept comments thoughtfully without negative feedback immediately

· Be open and honest—if you have a personal agenda, admit it

· Put schedules and timelines in writing and stick to them

· On conference calls, ask “what do you think? I need your opinion.”

· Review all ideas, pros and cons, about an issue

· Preface a meeting with the comment that there are no right or wrong answers

· Ensure committee members know one another—introduce everyone

· Base committee decisions on a vote or consensus

· Share correspondence and don’t keep secrets

· Hold a retreat, including a ropes course to establish trust among staff and volunteers

· Pitch in as a leader on every project possible

· Meet informally as well as formally to teambuild

· Assemble agenda well in advance, allowing input

· First seek to understand, then to be understood

· Acknowledge mistakes

· Have open meetings that allow others to attend and speak

· Run an icebreaker to get members comfortable

· Take them out to play tennis—have fun on court

· Email committee minutes immediately after meeting

· Treat everyone the same—be consistent

· Have breakfast at the Annual and Semi-Annual Meetings to catch up and discuss new initiatives

Ideas compiled at the 2003 USTA Semi-Annual Meeting

Return to seven expectations

Return to Volunteers home



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