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:
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.