In an earlier post, Building Trust between Board and Staff, I discussed the need to develop and invoke a set of ground rules to promote trust between volunteers and staff. Listed below are ten rules for your consideration:
Volunteers - Staff Relationship Ground Rules
- Our number one purpose is to serve our members to the best of our abilities. All of our actions, priorities and words must be judged against that. Therefore, we conduct every board or committee meeting as if the entire membership is watching. We ask ourselves: would our members be proud of how we have conducted ourselves?
- We seek to gather all the facts before entering into a discussion or making a decision. We acknowledge that the quality of our actions and decisions are only as good as the quality of our knowledge about the situation.
- We believe in accountability, not blame. We acknowledge that mistakes and failures will occur and we will use these as learning opportunities.
- When a mistakes or failures occur, we remind ourselves of rule #1.
- We work hard to catch each other doing the right thing. We will celebrate our successes.
- Hidden agendas and gossip are forbidden.
- Each of us agrees to listen with full attention when another person speaks.
- Volunteers will ask the staff: What is the impact of our decision(s) on you? Have we listened to your perspective and wisdom about the implications of this?
- When the staff brings forth an item for decision-making to the volunteers they will ask: Have we explained this clearly? Do you feel you have enough information with which to make a good decision? Have we listened to and addressed the big questions you have raised?
- Every person takes responsibility for the successful outcome of a meeting or interaction. These ground rules can be invoked by anyone whenever necessary.