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Posts Tagged ‘training’

sport-1014015_640Whether or not your charity or association is involved in sports or some other athletic endeavour, there may come a time when you become involved in recruiting for your NFP. After all, even NFPs that don’t host actual teams often host sports events as part of their fundraising and other activities.

For your nonprofit to do well in competitive events, it’s important to find and recruit individuals with just the right mix of skills, talents and experience. Hopefully, you will be able to find someone that has “what it takes” to be able to quickly catch on and score for your side.

Is it Possible to Tell Who Has the Right Stuff at Just a Glance?

When scouting for the ideal recruit for your team, it’s normal to want to find someone that you believe will just be naturally great. It’s difficult to tell just on the surface of things, however, if someone has just the “right stuff,” to make them great at a specific position on a team, especially if they’ve never even previously played the game.

When it comes to being “great” at something, which do you think matters more when it comes time to perform specific tasks? Is it more important to relentlessly train and study your whole life, or are the genes that you are born with important as well?

Genes, Experience or Both?

According to a recent ASAP Science Video, it takes a combination of both natural born talent, and training to become a truly great athlete. According to information in the video, regardless of what type of physical endeavour was being measured, those who have the potential to become great at a particular sport tend to be born with traits that make them more likely to be high responders.

A high responder is someone that is genetically more likely to respond positively to training and physical conditioning, and over 50% of improvement that folks experience when they train comes down to their genetics. People that are high responders are more likely to experience greater growth and endurance regardless of how physically fit they might be before they begin training.

Research also shows that each of us also has a different baseline of relative physical ability and endurance before we even start training. A different set of genes is responsible for this trait.  This means that individuals can be either a high responder and have a faster, better response to training, or they can naturally have a higher baseline. Sometimes, individuals have the genes for both of these traits.

How Personal Leadership Impacts Both Genes and Training

Therefore it’s likely that the best athletes already have great genes that predispose them to improved athletic ability. These naturally athletic individuals are then able to further increase their results by additional training and conditioning. Rather than favouring one over the other, it appears that talent is, to some extent, trainable.

Success isn’t just genes and training, however. Ideally, you should seek recruits that exhibit a high potential for ability and talent, that also show personal responsibility. Without personal leadership, it’s impossible to stay motivated to stick with a training regimen. Without determination and accountability, athletes eventually neglect training and fail to improve their natural gifts and abilities and transform their talent into actual greatness.

While the studies looked at athletic ability, it’s likely that having the right mix of talent, training and determination also applies to other endeavours and areas of our lives. So, whether you are looking for your club’s next goalie or, need to hire someone to be an effective fundraiser, if you want to recruit someone for your team that’s likely to be great, look at that person’s record of personal responsibility and determination in addition to their talents and experiences.

The Perfect Recruit Leads

Being responsible and self-motivated, constantly pushing, and training, towards excellence, are the key traits upon which other leadership skills are based. Whether it’s the ball field or the board room, there is a genuine need to find and recruit more leaders to turn natural ability and effort into greatness.  Want a great player, volunteer or staff member for your NFP’s team on and off the field? Look for those who are already leading themselves, and others, to greatness in other areas of their lives.

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pexels-photoAlmost everyone can remember a time when they have been asked to do something new and they have felt it is beyond them. Perhaps there’s new software that needs to be mastered, or more negotiating skills are needed than one is felt to possess. Perhaps a better understanding of business practices would speed up the process of getting certain tasks done. Whatever it is, if further training will have a positive impact on your work, it is going to benefit your organisation. For that reason, it is not unreasonable to approach them to fund said training.

Easier said than done? Not if you have your bases covered. Follow these three steps and you will be in with a good chance to get that extra training you would like.

Research Training Options

Make sure you have selected the most appropriate course for the knowledge you need. Make sure it is good value, and happening at a time that will not clash with other work that cannot be rescheduled. If you can propose a particular course, you are making things as easy as possible for the decision makers to approve.

Be clear about what the training entails

Communicating what you will learn and how it will benefit your organisation is key to getting the cost of training covered by your organisation. Explain how your work will improve with the new knowledge, and what impact your improved skill set will have on the organisation both short and long term. Most courses will have information that can be forwarded to the decision makers, but if not, prepare something in writing that can be considered when the time is right. If there are noteworthy trainers leading the course, be sure to include that information. Also, point out if other attendees are likely to make good contacts for your organisation.

Offer to share what you learn

A proposal to attend training becomes particularly attractive if the knowledge gained can be shared with others in the organisation. It might not be feasible for all to attend the training, but those who can are in a good position to return with their new knowledge and teach others what they have learned. Offer to run a mini development course for others to sweeten the deal for everyone.

By following these steps, convincing those who can write the tuition cheque that is it a good investment can be relatively straightforward, especially if the course is indeed worthwhile.

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As a volunteer treasurer or other board member, it’s unlikely that you came into the position fully equipped and knowing everything that you need to in order to be effective in your post. Even if you’ve served on the board for some time, the needs of every organisation changes. So, it’s likely that at some point during your service career there will be several times that you need some training to better assist the other members of your board.

There are numerous types of training available to those on the board of a non-profit. The training that you will need will depend on what you are trying to achieve. For example, many treasurers and other board members start their position learning as they go and pick up skills as they are needed. Mentors can show treasurers and other board members how to adequately perform in their position because they’ve learned from their personal experience on the board. However, there are many times when a mentor may not be available within the existing board. This is especially true in times of upheaval when several board members leave, or the focus of the non-profit happens to dramatically change.

Workshops and other short-term, hands-on training can be useful to bring new board members up to speed as to the responsibilities and requirements of their role, or to help existing board members stay updated. Training is useful when there is a specific skill that one or more members needs to acquire. Special topics or areas of interest can be presented well in this format. For example, if there is a change in guidelines that affects the board’s governing and oversight requirements, a workshop can quickly update everyone’s skills. Technology is another example where this training works well and is often needed. Since technology is rapidly changing, a short seminar can facilitate board members to become more familiar with topics such as best practices to increase cybersecurity to protect the non-profit’s systems.

Other times, formal training and even coaching can benefit board members and others who are in a leadership role in the non-profit arena. While it would likely be difficult for some board members to schedule time for formal, in-person training, there are online courses which enable board members to acquire skills that they need to be more useful in their position. Coaching can be done online especially when there isn’t already an existing mentor on the board to guide others in acquiring the skills they need. Coaches can support board members to clarify their vision for the non-profit and increase their individual leadership ability so that the non-profit’s goals are achieved more easily.

Boards can increase their effectiveness by conducting an audit to determine what skills each board member needs, and what training can be offered to update and improve everyone’s knowledge and capabilities. Individual board members can aid one another by being open to both mentorship and guidance and seeking ways to share their special talents and skills with one another.

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With 2013 just around the corner now is a great time to start planning for your professional and personal development.  Often this is overlooked due to a perceived lack of time, low prioritisation or you are not too sure where to look for relevant courses.

The first step to take is to undergo a form of self-assessment.  Take a bit of time to review the last 6 to 12 months and do a bit of brainstorming to identify some areas that you would like to develop and make sure it includes both professional and personal development areas.

Once you have a list then discuss with someone you know, they may be a work colleague or family member, to bounce some ideas off them so you can review and prioritise the list.

If you are an employee, you can discuss with your manager and get agreement so you can formally incorporate your professional development into your 2013 Annual Performance Plan.  If you are a Board Member, as part of the annual evaluation process you should be able to identify areas where additional training would be suitable.  For any Board it is important to recognise that some training maybe suitable for the whole Board or maybe just for some members.  For example, you may decide that the members of the Finance Sub Committee should complete Financial Management training.

In addition to professional development courses you should also consider personal development courses.  Take stock of issues with your personal circumstances and take the time to find something that is of genuine interest to you.

There are a huge number of organisations that provide training services and a quick search on Google will help you find something that is suitable.  There are many organisations that provide training courses for Board Member such as the Australian Institute of Company Directors or Matrix on Board.  In addition, while TAFEs or universities provide the traditional long courses, many will often provide short courses.  In addition, for other areas of personal interest consider adult education courses similar to the Centre for Adult Education in Victoria.  Most states offer a similar type of centre that provides training on a unique range of areas.  Another good place to search is iTunes as there are some valuable resources that can be downloaded such as podcasts, books or audio books on a huge range of topics.

The importance of undertaking professional and personal development is that it keeps you up to date with current issues, provides you with additional skills and especially if they are for personal development, they can be great fun and help you pursue your own personal interest and passion.

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Small organisations often don’t have the budget to spend on staff training progams so this is one area that may suffer from neglect.  Sadly, staff training is vital to keeping the workplace running smoothly.

Traditional training has been very time and person intensive.  Your people are locked away in a training room for the day and no other work is done.  Even on-the-job training keeps staff away from actually doing the job.

Have you ever thought of putting together some instructional videos as part of the training process?  They are simple to do especially for screen based work and can be watched over and over again if necessary.

Modern training can use a blend of tools including video, audio and traditional forms. 

If budget is an issue you will be able to find free software online which will help you.  CamStudio is an open source screen recording software which can “record all screen and audio activity on your computer and create industry-standard AVI video files and using its built-in SWF Producer can turn those AVIs into lean, mean, bandwidth-friendly Streaming Flash videos (SWFs).”  CamStudio is just one of the tools available for free and which allows you to use it for private or commercial purposes. 

Next time you need to update your training processes why not think about using video as an alternative strategy?

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