How Do Clients Benefit When Their #CoachesLikeCPD ?

I was surprised, but happy. Start up voluntary communities can – eventually – produce big results, when members work together.

Let me explain.

18 months ago I joined a continuing professional development (CPD) network for coaches. 12 months ago I decided to volunteer my skills and become one of the network’s co-organisers.

Since then I’ve hosted a number of CPD events. I’ve learned a lot from each session. That’s good, as I have been able to add value to the next session with what I learned from the last one (and try out new approaches like video). The people in front of me have been the beneficiaries.

How Do You Measure The Benefit Of Your Actions?

I am pleased to have played a part in improving the group’s outputs. The proof that volunteering to help CPD (or anything else) benefits others?

  • The group’s reputation as a CPD hub has risen in line with its visibility (100+ hard earned Facebook Likes and growing).
  • Collaboration between group members means their joint efforts produce better results for their clients.
  • Knowledge is shared between members who aren’t yet at the stage of collaborating.
  • New and well established members have an equal chance to contribute to group discussions, pursue future learning goals and put smiles on clients’ faces.

How Do You Volunteer And What Are The Benefits Of Spending Your Free Time Serving Others?

Thanks for reading this post. If it has been useful please share it with someone who can benefit from it.

By the way, what is the best you have result you have achieved for others by volunteering your time? Share your feedback below, or on Twitter @RogerD_Said – others would love to know what you think.

Want To Know More About The Benefits CPD?

Here is a link to the CPD group I co-organise, along with talented leaders @CliveMaxheath and @rjIvanov. You can get an idea of our agenda and more detail about the vision behind the headline by checking the group out http://www.meetup.com/Practical-and-Business-Skills-for-CoachPreneurs/

If you want more Big Picture perspective check out my company page below, which is in development. Fill in your email details and make personal growth part of your agenda.

www.experienceenterprisesltd.co.uk

 

Goals 2014: 3 Steps Towards Successful #Presentations

A Definition of Success Courtesy of Julian Hall

A Definition of Success Courtesy of Julian Hall

A month ago I offered you my opinion on the benefits of volunteering.  If you found that post useful you might be interested in the 3 steps below.

I followed these steps before giving a well-received presentation in late July.  They will help you should your goal involve giving successful presentations, or learning to do so.  Success might seem a long way away, but small manageable steps can get you there.

One: Know your audience

You will offer your audience maximum value if you spend time preparing to meet (or even exceed) their expectations.  Your confidence level will also rise, once you know how to plan your engagement with the audience members.

At the very least find out if they are:

  • curious about your topic, and only want a simple overview
  • knowledge-hungry and expect an expert analysis to stir them into action
  • a mix of supporters and doubters, who may respond differently to the message you are communicating

Two: Practice your presentation

There’s more work to do once you have created your presentation plan and your notes, plus supporting visual material.

Take time to look at presenters you admire or have heard good things about (at work, on television, via Youtube) to see which elements of their work you can build into your own presentation.

Practice your presentation in front of a mirror.  Then practice in front of a colleague, or friend, whose opinion you trust.  Use the feedback you receive to fine tune your work.

Three: Have confidence you can excel

Once you are confident you have your structure in place you have the potential to excel.  Should the unexpected happen you will be fine (even if you are promoted to the opening slot when another speaker cancels!).

The key points for you to remember are:

  • Outline what you are going to say – then say it with passion – then summarise what you said
  • Use memorable stories to connect authentically with your audience
  • Speak at your usual pace – remember to smile

What is your presentation success strategy?

Feel free to have a conversation about this topic with your colleagues and share your success strategy with others.  I’m interested to know what you think, so post a reply here, or find me on Twitter @RogerD_said

There are more ideas relating to your work and life goals in the Archive section here and on Facebook and Google+ too.  Or if you are a Linkedin user you can learn more by clicking View Roger Dennison’s profile

Goals 2014: How Can You Boost Your #Skills By #Volunteering ?

Are You Developing Your Skills By Volunteering?

Are You Developing Your Skills By Volunteering?

I have blogged previously about the benefits of volunteering – within an organisation or in the community – as a way to boost your skills. Well I had the chance last week to add to Joel Kremer’s Linkedin discussion about the value of volunteering, and I thought it would be useful to you if I gave you the highlights of that post here.  These ideas should be valid in the UK, the US, the EU or elsewhere around the world.

What Leadership Or Management Skills Do You Want To Develop?

According to the UK Commission for Employment and Skills there are plenty of managers who could improve their proficiency in several key areas, one of which matches your five point list: UKCES highlights that 32% of managers and professionals could be more proficient in Problem Solving (PS). What are the comparable figures where you are?

Taking action to volunteer could address a PS personal development goal.  It could definitely benefit someone in a key organisational role, at the same time as benefitting the project’s customers.

How Can You Ensure Your Services Are Not Being Unfairly Exploited?

There’s a health warning though. Given the climate of limited resources and ‘more for less’ volunteers should not be used as cheap substitutes for paid staff. An organisation’s volunteering strategy should provide an authentic example of doing good for all concerned. It should provide positive benefits to customers whilst developing the volunteers’ skills and confidence (whatever their job title). If a volunteer feels their actions are being exploited they have to speak up.

What Support Could You Expect To Receive As A Volunteer?

In the example I gave above, good benefits could be achieved by the PS volunteer, as long as it was absolutely clear where the boundaries of that person’s volunteer responsibility lay. The volunteer’s learning would have to be fully supported by their project leader and her colleagues. Once their PS skills and confidence were good, or outstanding, they could continue to develop in different areas. Still offering really good service to the project’s customers as their learning continues.

How Are You Going To Learn By Volunteering?

Please use the Contact form above, if you would like to discuss coaching support to make the most of your volunteering plans.

Feel free to look at the further ideas relating to your work and life goals in the Archive section here, on Facebook and Google+ too.  Or if you are a Linkedin user you can visit View Roger Dennison’s profile

Goals 2014: 3 Questions To Help You Decide Where To Offer Your Acts Of Service

Your Connections Increase In Number When  You Volunteer

Your Connections Increase In Number When You Volunteer

Were you following my previous posts about the reasons you should have a volunteering goal and the benefits coming your way from volunteering?  If you missed the posts on Contributing to your Community click in the Archive for 30 March and the Morale post is located there dated 8 April.

Your Acts of Service

That wider conversation led to me making a contribution to a discussion with Forbes online magazine contributor and Twitter user @tomwatson  You can get a flavour of the back and forth via this tweet:

This goes to show once you start offering thoughts and sharing views you quickly encounter the major benefit of volunteering: being connected means you can offer acts of service to others.

How Can Dunbar’s Number Help You Serve Your Contacts?

Mind you, if you can only hold stable relationships with 150 people it makes sense that as many of those people as possible are folks to whom you can be of service.  So here’s 3 questions for you based on Dunbar’s Number (those 150 people):

  • Do you want to offer service to your 5 most significant contacts, or do you feel obligated to do this (it is more authentic if you want to take action)?
  • What common characteristics do your top 5 contacts share?
  • How does that information shape the acts of service you will offer them this week?

Good luck to you with your offer to serve others.  You can get more ideas by checking out – and Liking if you want – my posts on Facebook and Google+ too.  Or if you use LinkedIn you can View Roger Dennison’s profile

Goals 2014: What Are 5 Advantages You Gain By Volunteering?

Feel Good Volunteering

Feel Good Volunteering

What’s your immediate response to the concept of ‘volunteering’ some of your time?

“I can’t see the point. Besides I don’t have the right skills.”

“Not one of my goals, I’m afraid. I’m too busy in the real world.”

“I plan on doing some volunteering when I retire.”

Although I have heard similar sentiments before I think they might be keeping people from doing themselves and their workplaces a big favour.  For instance thousands of Community First Panel Members and Project People are currently benefiting their neighbourhoods, and themselves, by their efforts.

What’s In It For You?

So, building a volunteering goal into your personal development plan for 2014 adds value to your life, as well as the world around you. Here are 5 advantages that you and your day job gain when you take volunteer action:

5. You get to influence the development of your community and watch it change as a result of your work. Community might mean the workplace around you, the neighbourhood in which you live, or the wider networks to which you contribute.

4. Your leadership is instrumental in making change happen. When you volunteer you are doing more than your day to day activity. Contributing to an exceptional project means you are making an appreciable difference to others’ lives.

3. By working effectively with others your portfolio of skills grows.  You pick up aspects of what others can do. Meanwhile they are learning from you.

2. Your volunteer status distinguishes you as an activist, someone who sees things as they might be rather than just as they are.

1. Volunteering connects you to the widest network of active, helpful people. Who knows when those connections will be useful to you.

What’s Your Next Step?

Those are just some of the positives that come your way by stepping forward to volunteer. Over to you now: what project will you devote some time to this Spring?  Feel free to visit the Archives for some inspiration.

Background

As a footnote, according to recent data on Community from the Office for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on average, people in United Kingdom spend 2 minutes per day in volunteering activities, lower than the OECD average of 4 minutes per day.

By contrast on average, people in United States spend 8 minutes per day in volunteering activities, one of the highest in the OECD where the average is 4 minutes per day. high scores suggest there is a strong sense of community in the United States.

 

‘What Do We Want…?’

English: Lord Nat Wei, Government Adviser for ...

English: Lord Nat Wei, Government Adviser for Big Society (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been volunteering, in different contexts, for more than a decade.  I do that to change the neighbourhood I live in, for the better.

Back in the old days making change happen used to involve pressing the state for action: ‘What do we want [fill in the blank]…When do we want it? Now!’

Times have changed and the state has aspirations to enable outcomes through the Big SocietyPower is in the being placed in the hands of communities, which notionally makes it easier for change to come about from the grass roots.

Now that the pressure on peoples’ discretionary time is great, and available resources are few, volunteering is a challenging activity.  I think having a clear volunteering goal is probably going to help one’s focus on delivery.

For instance this year I know that my voluntary actions are going to entail:

– working with others to ensure my apartment building is cleaner, safer and better maintained

– collaborating with residents to allocate charity funding to local projects in a fair and timely way

– chairing a diverse group of community stakeholders to influence policing priorities

– helping other volunteers to develop their capacity to produce event better results

Having clarity over those  areas means I can channel my energies accordingly.  I think the more narrowly defined one’s goal – as long as it is realistic – then the easier it is to attain.

On a national scale I really like the simplicity of the goal reached by one successful Welsh volunteer body.  Knowing that you are going to protect an area of rainforest ‘the size of Wales’ puts everything nicely into perspective.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21618349

I am pretty glad though that I am not devoting time to the role of school governor.  Those post holders seem to be receiving criticism over the quality of their outputs from Sir Michael Wilshaw, who is head of the school inspection body Ofsted.

From what I remember of contacts with governors they are not glory seekers, just people dedicated to improving the standards at the local schools they work with.  How demoralising Sir Michael’s criticisms must seem.  Hopefully governor numbers won’t decline as a result of the feedback.  Difficult to see how that Big Society outcome can prosper in a negative climate.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/feb/27/governing-idea-school-leadership-editorial