Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Herding Cats

Working with volunteers or being a volunteer in an organization is like herding cats. We need to know what each individual wants and needs to be able to influence them in a direction. There is no control. If the master driver is also a volunteer, now what? Can he or she maintain direction and not become a controller? A little authority goes to the head too often. There also must be communications at a level that the receiver can recognize and utilize. Texting is not applicable to seniors. Computer is not suitable for many seniors. Changing things on a web site and considering that notice is complete bullshit as communications. Without volunteers, what is the organization?

Seniors do not do well in scramble systems, at least this senior does not. Oh well. But working with volunteers can degrade into a scramble system easily.  Now I know that I am not good at dealing with people in general, and especially where I am the "expert" and they are know nothings or young people. The obvious to me is new and foreign to some. As a geotechnical engineer, I ran into a few "the earth is only 6000 year old types. Reality says otherwise.

Only dead men have no biases and no opinions. We all have large biases: by what we are, our education, would like to be and mostly what we believe. Some of our biases are known by us; some are not, but are obvious to everyone around us. It is those unknown to us biases and opinions that cause issues for us and others.

Our organization exists to serve the desires and needs of it's members. If it no longer serves the needs and desires we just go away or just stop. Our needs stop being fulfilled, or we go elsewhere to fulfill those needs. It is that simple. Problems start when biases and opinions start effecting the group, or activity. Problems really start when personalities get in the way, and the biases get in the way. What now?  

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