Getting Help with the Work
Getting Help with the Work is part of the Organizing & Mentoring Your Group series.
First Step: Assess
Assess how much the person already knows about a given task, project or role by asking a few direct questions:
- “What is your level of comfort with this task or assignment?”
- “What approach would you take to handle this role?”
- “Are there particular steps you’re uncertain about?”
Step Two: Delegate and Coach
Then delegate based on your volunteer’s competence level.
- Do. If your volunteer lacks experience with a task and hasn’t developed the necessary skills for the job, show them how it is done. Do the work the first time while your volunteer shadows you to learn for the next time.
- Tell. If a volunteer recognizes that they do not know how to execute a task to get a desired result, encourage self-reflection. This can help them create a more meaningful learning pattern.
- Teach. If some steps of a task are known but your volunteer still struggles with other tasks, show them how to perform a task by clearly explaining why things are done a certain way. Call out individual steps to reveal the underlying structure of how to approach a task.
- Ask. If a volunteer knows how to complete a task but has to follow a “cheat sheet” rather than doing it automatically, further improve their grasp of the task by asking questions. “What is a key insight from this process that you can carry forward?” This will help build confidence by confirming they may know more than they thought.
- Support. Even if a volunteer is fully capable of handling a task, they shouldn’t be left without guidance. Schedules change and new priorities develop so let your volunteers know that you are available for support if needed.
- As a Group Leader, when you have too much to do, you aren’t delegating enough.
- Consider that a reason that some people don’t succeed is that they aren’t engaged in the work enough.
- Generic requests for help rarely work, but well thought out personal requests for help often do.
- If you assume you are burdening people with your request they will agree and feel burdened.
- If you include an acknowledgment or appreciation of their strengths as part of asking, they say yes more often.
- When you match the person to the task well, they light up and thank you for asking them. (You have to know your people’s skills and interests.)
- Delegating requires trusting people AND providing support for them to succeed.
- When people agree to do something and you don’t see anything happening, you need to initiate contact, find out the problem and solve it.
Delegation Do's and Don'ts
- Explain the connection between their work and our goal (this is the most important aspect of assigning roles or delegating)
- Show appreciation and celebrate their successes
- Clarify the task or role
- Support them, check in regularly
- Give them an appropriate level of responsibility. If they should have said no in the first place, then get then off the hook and onto something they can succeed at as fast as possible.
- Move quickly to solve problems as they arise, waiting makes problems harder to deal with.
- Realize some people find it difficult to say no, so give them an out. If people feel bad about something they haven’t done, they are more likely to leave.
- Don’t criticize
- Don’t dump it off
- Don’t become invisible
- Don’t delegate meaningless tasks
- Don’t delegate to a person who’s not suited to the task
- Don’t be vague about the expectations or steps
- Don’t micromanage
What follows is a list of possible volunteer opportunities. No group will have all of these, groups can decide for themselves what works best and which positions are necessary for them.
Building Your Chapter
- Help with hosting meetings (set up, clean up, publicity, printing materials, contacting members, food)
- Help with chapter communications (maintain member list, google group, facebook page)
- Invite new members
- Talk to people wherever you are about your involvement in CCL, listen to their concerns
- Publicize the Wed. introductory talk
- Respond to inquiries and requests for information (by phone, email, or coffee dates)
- Mentor new members
- Make presentations about CCL to groups you know
- Seek out places to make presentations (for yourself or others)
- Hold fundraisers for your chapter
- Coordinate tabling events
- Identify tabling opportunities
- Participate in tabling
- Follow up with contacts after tabling
- Organize events (parties, potlucks, movie nights, speakers) to educate ourselves, the community, and to have fun
- Represent your chapter in local coalitions
- Become the point person for a member of Congress (MOC) for your district (Liaison)
- Participate in strategy sessions
- Keep MOC bio and background information up to date
- Participate in the CCL lobby week in DC
- Develop your expertise in a key aspect (jobs, local climate impacts, economic impacts, etc)
- Identify and build relationships with key experts and leaders that can reach your MOC
- Write to your MOC regularly
- Hold a letter writing party for your friends
- Enable people to write their MOC at tables and presentations
- Become the point person for a local newspaper editor
- Read and watch for opportunities for letters to the editor (LTEs) and notify chapter members
- Write LTEs and op-eds
- Support others to write LTEs
- Get to know relevant reporters
- Watch for radio interview opportunities
- Do radio interviews
- Develop relationships with TV meteorologists and help them report on climate change
- Meet with community leaders to educate them
- List key people in the community and ask them for a meeting
- Support others to do likewise
- Ask local leaders/organizations to sign a letter of support or take other action to build political will