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Leadership Tips

Things I’ve Learned Along The Way: Tip #4

Always Ask For A Volunteer

There is always, no matter how long you wait, always someone willing to step into the ring of fire and help you do whatever you need. Perhaps you need help to demonstrate the next move or need someone to break the ice and start the activity, whatever – it never fails, there is always someone willing to step forward.

But why bother, when you can often save time and potential embarrassment by doing it yourself, or asking a colleague to step in? The value is hidden in the invitation.

It can be as simple as observing the initial humour of no-one stepping forward, or everyone but one poor soul stepping back. However, beyond the humour, there is extraordinary value in using a volunteer from your group.

Having one or more of your group step forward says “I am willing to…” take a risk, have fun, give it a go, look silly, etc, etc. These are huge transformative messages that are broadcast loud and clear – yet subtly – to the rest of the group. It will frequently open up further opportunities for more of this, from more of your group.

Asking for volunteers is part of the fun, it’s suspenseful (“what’s he/she gonna do?”), and it’s a true adventure, especially if you don’t telegraph what they are going to be doing.

Besides, you and I get to be up-front all the time, so let’s share the limelight from time to time.

To learn more, check out Episode 16 in our Facilitator Tips video series.

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