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Twelve Pearls of Wisdom (to the tune of Twelve Days of Christmas)

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By SallyReith on
networking, ttvolmgrs and volunteer management 146 views 4 likes 2 shares 3 comments

My Twelve Pearls of Wisdom

It may be a cliché but it’s true - the festive season is a time for reflection, contemplation and… Christmas songs (though, if you believe the shops, that time begins somewhere around the start of the school year in August/September – at least in the UK).

For me, this has been a good time to look back on the year that was and see what has stuck with me from my network building and studying with some great volunteer managers through the Excellence in Volunteer Management course.

So… I bring you my ‘Twelve Pearls of Wisdom’ from my year of studying with some great people and many others who I’ve met along the way*.

* referred to as ‘my volunteering mates’, or ‘my VM’, for artistic purposes (to fit with ‘true love’)!

On the First Pearl of Wisdom my VMs gave to me,

a network in the making

On the Second Pearl of Wisdom my VMs gave to me,

many sounding boards and a network in the making

On the Third Pearl of Wisdom my VMs gave to me,

opportunities knocking, many sounding boards and a network in the making

On the Fourth Pearl of Wisdom my VMs gave to me,

research to question, opportunities knocking, many sounding boards and a network in the making

On the Fifth Pearl of Wisdom my VMs gave to me,

experts to challenge, research to question, opportunities knocking, many sounding boards and a network in the making

On the Sixth Pearl of Wisdom my VMs gave to me,

more open questions, experts to challenge, research to question, opportunities knocking, many sounding boards and a network in the making

On the Seventh Pearl of Wisdom my VMs gave to me,

challenged expectations, more open questions, experts to challenge, research to question, opportunities knocking, many sounding boards and a network in the making

On the Eighth Pearl of Wisdom my VMs gave to me,

shared contributions, challenged expectations, more open questions, experts to challenge, research to question, opportunities knocking, many sounding boards and a network in the making

On the Ninth Pearl of Wisdom my VMs gave to me,

reflective thinking, shared contributions, challenged expectations, more open questions, experts to challenge, research to question, opportunities knocking, many sounding boards and a network in the making

On the Tenth Pearl of Wisdom my VMs gave to me,

critiques of ‘best’ practice, reflective thinking, shared contributions, challenged expectations, more open questions, experts to challenge, research to question, opportunities knocking, many sounding boards and a network in the making

On the Eleventh Pearl of Wisdom my VMs gave to me,

meaningful communications, critiques of ‘best’ practice, reflective thinking, shared contributions, challenged expectations, more open questions, experts to challenge, research to question, opportunities knocking, many sounding boards and a network in the making

On the Twelfth Pearl of Wisdom my VMs gave to me,

constructive actions, meaningful communications, critiques of ‘best’ practice, reflective thinking, shared contributions, challenged expectations, more open questions, experts to challenge, research to question, opportunities knocking, many sounding boards and a network in the making!

What have your pearls of wisdom been from this year?

Have you built a useful sector network you want to tell others about?

What skills, ideas, knowledge, tips do you want to share with others?

If you want to learn more about Excellence in Volunteer Management click here for details of the upcoming course starting in March 2017.

               

               

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Top answer

Thanks for this Sally. Though I am now going to have to get the earworm out of my head!

constructive actions, meaningful communications, critiques of ‘best’ practice, reflective thinking, shared contributions, challenged expectations,
more open questions, experts to challenge, research to question, opportunities knocking, many sounding boards and a network in the making!

This year has been a challenging one, both professionally and personally. But the network I have built from the Excellence in Volunteer Management course has most definitely helped me through this.

What have my pearls of wisdom been from this year?

You cannot underestimate the power of a picture of a cute animal for making you smile.

I've realised how emotionally non-resilient I was, and am making steps to change this. Simple things like acknowledging why I might be feeling stressed - am I angry or frustrated or disappointed - helps me to work through challenges better than I did a year ago.

Have I built a useful sector network you want to tell others about?

Yes! My study group (of which Sally is one) are a great network to share ideas and get suggestions. We work in a wide range of sectors, so it's a great way of sharing our learning and thrashing out ideas.

I feel that I have also built up a good sector network online, through IVO and Twitter, and also in person, through AVM. If you're not an AVM member, do consider joining (they haven't paid me to say this)!

What skills, ideas, knowledge, tips do you want to share with others?

Like Karen said, read, read, read! And follow, follow, follow! Also, read with pen and paper nearby, to jot down ideas to come back to. If you're a slower thinker like I am, you may find something strikes you when you read it, and it becomes more relevant later.

Follow everyone on Twitter (make a list to stop people getting lost in the main feed) and LinkedIn. Join all the groups. Read outside the non-profit sector.

Some of my recommendations outside of the sector include Simon Sinek (for leadership), Susan Cain (for introverts), Susan David (for emotional resilience), Daniel Pink (motivations and leadership stuff), Seth Godin (leadership stuff).

Be brave, make a comment, post a tweet, share an article, write a blog! Get involved, as that helps build your networks, helps expand your learning. Go to free networking events and say hello to someone: you might find the person you've been needing to speak to through a chance conversation (I have).

And don't be afraid to ask people for help. We're a generous, sharing lot, us volunteer management lot!

Merry Christmas!

jgibney

Hmm... shame about the lack of formatting!

Jingle bells , jingle bells vms all the way... Sally I just loved this it is totally fab so on the special day of christmas I would give great focused support, my knowledge and love to you all.
My gift of pearls to you all would be no matter what crap happens and your Maslow pyramid is blown up the greatest personal development is just be bigger than the problem. learn from it, grow and move on.
I set up a VM network in Dorset, which anyone can come to even if they are visiting the County, many years ago that is still running, evolves, sees new faces but it came out of the start of these Thoughtful Thursdays many many years ago so my advice to any reader is if you don't have one in your area just set one up yourself - find one or two vms in your patch, ask them if they know people to ask, then you have a start even if it is only 4 people! then find a cafe, pub or office after work then just get together the rest is magic!
Another pearl to all is READ read and read. There are tons of information and books on volunteer management, blogs, articles and research because if you are not fortunate to have the funding to do a volunteer management qualification you can still do the reading and put it into practice.
Lastly I bring you all a secret santa gift for 2017 - Thoughtful Thursdays will be back in force regularly once a month!!! - so not only keep those satsumas peeled keep those eyes open for more details as we run up to January 2017.
I wish you all a fab Christmas or happy holidays wherever you are around the world. love you all Eddie.x aka Karen Jones