#Thoughtful Thursdays impacting on YOU!

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By Eddie on
everything volunteering, ttvolmgrs, VMC, volunteer centres and volunteer management 450 views 0 likes 6 comments

I've lost count of how many #Thoughtful Thursday topics we've done now but they have all been great little bite sized bits of informal learning and discussion so far. The blogs that accompany them are great thought pieces in themselves and posting up here on IVO every week gives those who do not use twitter a platform to join in and comment.

Personally I think #TT is brilliant and cannot wait each week for the posting to go up to find out what informal learning is on for the day.  I have also been using and developing some of these #TT topics in many different ways; ranging from gaining information to collate evidence to set up a new project; creatively designing training to get others to consider the words they use in volunteer recruitment (my favorite one); to identifying new subjects to look into (because I don't know everything) and consider different ways of approaching the challenges we all face as a sector.

So this week folks I am curious to know if and how you use these weekly topics or perhaps I can inspire you to think about how you might do this?

One example I already know of is that the discussions have sparked a meet up of a few lone workers over tea and cake to share potential ideas for best practise, networking and just have a chat about what's happening in Volunteer Management. They found it really useful and decided to offer up an open invitation to others in the area who wanted to join in - and if you have been watching twitter you'll know it happened in Manchester very sucessfully.

How did I personally use them?

I really  loved, redeveloped and reworked the 'Recruitment in 140 characters' one to incorporate the Spark Plug Recruitment idea (See Sue Jones blog 'Intrigue & Wow' and part 2,  Susan J Ellis article on Spark Plug Recruitment  &  to VMC Jackal for the 140 idea).

I created a training activity around it and introduced a Banned list of words that organisations could not use in their role description or advert, explaining how negative it looked for the organisation to have such words as urgent, desperate, needed etc  to a potential volunteer and after reading several of these you become de-sensitised to them or start to wonder why you would want to volunteer there if they always desperately needed volunteers! So then  the organisations had 10 mins to write some interesting volunteer role descriptons and adverts without using the banned list of words. It created such a challenge in the room but has motivated them to think very differently about how they communicate messages to potential volunteers. In the feedback on the day and also direct to my manager, everyone loved it and will now try it more, never use those words in an ask and evidence is showing already that roles being written differently.

I also used my own blog put up earlier this year on 'Connecting'  with the #tt comments to get evidence to support and set up a new Volunteer Managers' network forum in Dorset and connect to others I wouldn't have phoned otherwise. Another example is one I use with supporting unmotivated colleagues and volunteers who are seeking reassurance.  I used the 'Achievements' topic and I asked them to over a day to think about all the achievements they have had no matter how small over the past week, month, year and then put them down on paper and then call me to let me know how it looked. We would have a quick chat and then it was brill to watch their mood change when they realised how much they have really achieved and how good they felt about this.

These are just a few of mine and I would really love to know about some of yours.

So, for this week's topic, I am asking YOU - What does #ttvolmgrs mean to you? Plus in true my style I have lots of additonal questions to help prompt your little grey cells:

  • Have you used a #ttvolmgrs topic in your work place?
  • Have you used a #ttvolmgrs topic for discussion amongst other organisations/people at work?
  • Have you re-worked a theme to use in training with non social media users?
  • How have you used #ttvolmgrs to suppport you and your own development?
  • How have you followed up on any of the information/ideas/people you 've been connected to through #ttvolmgrs?
  • How can we make sure that this fantastic learning opportunity is more than just a passive experience?
  • How can we encourage more Volunteer Managers to get involed every week?
  • AND where do we go from here?

Please share your thoughts how you've used it by commenting below or joining with us on twitter this Thursday using the hash tag #ttvolmgrs because then we can all encourage more volunteer managers to participate so we make it meaningful for even more people!

Look forward to hearing from you.

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Top answer

Many many thanks to all who put up comments here and on Twitter - I thought them all great and showed the impact of these themes. If you have read this and thought there is someone out there who should read it and comment please pass it on as page is always open for late comments. Hopefully we will come back to this blog later in the year after you have given it some thought. Love you all. Eddie.

Morning - super late to the party, but better late than never eh? - great blog post. and a good way to capture how we are all getting the benefit of increased communication.

So here's my list. #ttvolmgrs
- I use it to find new contacts and colleagues with whom to share ideas. This has led to a new group of Manchester based peers meeting up.
- It forms part of my continuous learning. I evidence my interaction with #ttvolmgrs in my monthly reports to my superiors, whehter it's simply engaging or contributing.
- also on the CPD front I've volunteered to write posts, I've only blogged mainly for personal reasons in the past so I've had the opportunity to try out work based writing. The added bonus being I get to focus on a topic I'm really interested in and seek ideas from the community.
- I've met up with several people who I've been introduced to as a result of #ttvolmgrs
- In the future I think we could look forward to more informal meet ups - perhaps webinars or skpye meetings to share best practice, and who knows - one day a mini conference! But only if it was about relevant things.

I've really enjoyed watching it develop over the past few months and being part of it has been exciting and fun. It allows me to feel more connected to peers and colleagues and able to ask people for thier opinions on my work, without fear of judgement or unfair treatment.

Long live #ttvolmgrs :)

Big thanks as always to all our Thoughtful Thursday commenters. I think we will definitely re-visit this topic later on in the year as there is still much to think about. For now though, here's a summary of this week's tweets www.tweetdoc.org/View/43532/Impact-and-you

I would expect no less from you. This is insightful and got me thinking of exactly how much learning does take place so informally from these special events.
Everyone is so professional in what they do and passionate about thier role that it cannot help but make you feel like you are a part of something that is going to change things from now on. Things will never be the same again - and that is a positive by the way.
Some people are only just taking thier first tentative steps and others and into leaps but whichever you are you can have a voice and be heard and make a difference.
Some of your questions I want to think about much more and that for me is my learning for today. I want to put them on, try them out and reflect, which is not my normal learning style, and for this I thank you.

I try to duck infor 5 minutes every Thursday, to see what is going on. I view it as a way of learning new stuff, of obtaining some confirmation that my sanity is not as impaired as I believed it to be and to feel some connection with the volunteering world outside my organisation. I think my perception of my job and how I do it has shifted through my participation...in a positive way:-)

It means to me that my job isn't as hard as some other people's (gloat gloat) and that my issues are somewhat nominal in comparison. In addition it makes me think about where I can take this fledgling notion of a Volunteer Manager for my organisation. However, I am alerted to how distant I am from them and how much in so many of their cases I do not know them as much as some other VMs do. It demonstrates how militant, passionate and protective some people are over their volunteers. I think it's brilliant, even if it is a tad serious sometimes....