Category Archives: Lessons Learned

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Recruiting Volunteers

Category:Leadchange,Leadership,Lessons Learned,STC,STC Rochester Tags : 

Recruiting Volunteers

Volunteers are the life blood of non-profit organizations. However, recruiting volunteers may be challenging. I had the privilege of presenting with Alice Brzovic, President of the San Diego Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication on a leadership webinar on July 22, 2016. Alice had a number of great ideas around volunteer recruitment, especially in advertising for volunteers. It may seem obvious, but it’s really important that prospects know about the opportunities and that their help is needed. Alice suggested placing a Help Wanted sign on community websites, creating a company page on LinkedIn and posting volunteer opportunities there, and participating in These are great ideas!

Make the Appeal Personal

Many people will ignore a general call for volunteers, assuming that someone else will step up. A personal appeal may be more successful. (Knowing what the prospect is passionate about and making the right volunteer match is ideal.)

Cast a Clear Vision

I believe it is critical for an organization and its leadership to have and cast a clear vision of why the organization exists and what its trying to accomplish. Prospective volunteers want to know what they’re contributing to. An effective leader will share his or her vision and passion and can inspire volunteers.

Phone Script

During the webinar, one of the attendees asked about phone scripts for recruiting volunteers. I’ve created the script below. Please adapt it for your own use, for calls or emails. (Please substitute specific information for the capitalized words.)

My name is NAME and I’m the OFFICER OR POSITION for ORGANIZATION. I’d like to talk with you briefly about an opportunity for you to gain leadership skills that can advance your career by helping with OPPORTUNITY.

Here’s what we need your help with!
DESCRIBE OPPORTUNITY. We’re asking for a commitment that won’t exceed NUMBER of hours per TIME PERIOD.

MENTOR NAME will work with you to make sure your questions are answered and to help you be successful. (IF YOU KNOW THE PROSPECT, ADD We believe this opportunity is a good fit for you because REASONS.)

Here’s what you’ll get in return:
1. The opportunity to gain leadership skills
2. An opportunity to build your professional network
3. An opportunity to positively impact fellow practitioners
4. Helping COMMUNITY serve local practitioners
5. Fun
6. Recognition for your participation

The COMMUNITY serves the PROFESSION community in the greater GEOGRAPHIC OR PRACTICE area. We’re excited about ORGANIZATION and PROFESSION and we’re working on these SPECIFIC FOCUS AREAS this year.

Won’t you come alongside us and help with OPPORTUNITY?


Thank you for your time and willingness to serve.


Let me know if you find this script helpful.

Alice Brzovic, Tips for Recruiting New Volunteers (pdf) (
Ben Woelk, Get On Board: Entraining Volunteers (pdf) (

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The Content Era: Thought Leader Thursday Featuring Ben Woelk

Category:Introverted Leadership,introverts,Leadership,Lessons Learned

Thought Leader Thursday Banner

Listen to the recorded session from Thursday, July 21st on The Content Era: Thought Leader Thursday hosted by Tom Aldous, where I spoke about Introverted Leadership and my leadership journey. I also shared how I’m leveraging my STC Summit 2016 presentation, An Introvert’s Journey to Leadership, to mentor introverted leaders and start building a virtual community to discuss issues affecting them and share resources.

Thought Leader Thursday Promo

The Content Era’s “Thought Leader Thursday” hosted by Founder and CEO, Tom Aldous, brings up intriguing concepts with industry’s top Thought Leaders to keep you questioning the assumptions. Tune in Thursdays at 1PM EST as Tom picks the brains of some of the brightest minds we’ve come across.

This week Thought Leader, Ben Woelk joins Tom Aldous. Many of us might agree that Western society lauds extroverted leaders and their accomplishments. However, introverts make great contributions and can be effective leaders too. There are many introverts who may feel unsuited or unequipped for leadership but are not sure how to take that next step to increase influence and improve visibility. Ben will share key steps he took and experiences that have helped him become a successful leader and share recommendations for how introverts can leverage their innate skills and flourish in the workplace.He’ll also discuss how he’s using Slack to build a virtual community to support introverted leaders.

Listen to the recorded session.


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Group Rules for Our Introverted Leadership Community

Category:Introverted Leadership,introverts,Leadership,Lessons Learned

Group Rules for Our Introverted Leadership Community

About three days into creating the Introverted Leadership virtual community on Slack, I realized it would probably be a good idea to set up group rules to create an atmosphere where we could share safely. The rules below are merged from a variety of sources.

I believe that a virtual community needs some guidelines for how to interact with each other.


I trust that none of you will take these rules personally. They’re not directed at any specific person. I just want to establish rules for conduct here before we have any issues.

I want this to be a group that builds each other up, helps us determine how to best leverage our strengths, and provides a safe place for what may become intimate discussions. Personalities are personal. Many of us are loathe to share our feelings or thoughts because we are afraid of being judged by others.

As I alluded to in my Summit presentation, introverts may have trouble talking about themselves and making themselves vulnerable in group settings. I want to encourage openness, so please read the group rules below. If you don’t feel you can abide by them, please remove yourself (or ask me to remove you) from this group.

Group Rules/Code of Conduct

  1. We are discussing introversion and personality types (among other subjects.) Please be sensitive in your comments and do not share personal information someone posts without his or her permission.
  2. Make sure to be relevant with your postings. Don’t post just to post or to have your name everywhere. Make sure that the topics you choose are relevant to the group’s interests. You can of course set up channels for whatever purpose. Use Direct Messages for conversations that don’t apply to the channel topic.
  3. Do not post inflammatory comments. Our users are established professionals. They did not join the group to argue with you. Also, posting inflammatory comments is a quick way to burn bridges in the professional community. I will not hesitate to remove anyone from this group if I believe they are not providing positive support.
  4. Do not sell to members. People do not join this Slack channel just so you can have access to spam them with personal e-mails.
  5. Do be a mentor. Sharing your expertise with others and helping them reach their goals is appreciated by all.
  6. Do not write anything in a Public Channel that you do not want out in the public. It may be a Slack channel but it is not a confidential group. Use Direct Messages for personal conversations. Only the people in Private Channels or in Direct Messages can read the content. However, anyone in a Private Channel or Direct Message is able to share that content. Do not betray trust.
  7. DO NOT use this Slack channel as your personal blog.
  8. Group moderators/admins reserve the right to ban any group member who violates either the letter or the spirit of these rules.
  9. This is group is not an official STC group.

In Closing

The essence of the rules is to maintain obstinate kindness. Maybe you’ll find them helpful for your virtual community, LinkedIn group, or forum.

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An Introvert’s Journey to Leadership

Category:Introverted Leadership,introverts,Leadchange,Leadership,Lessons Learned,Presentations,STC,Summit,techcomm Tags : 

An Introvert’s Journey to Leadership

I had the privilege of presenting An Introvert’s Journey to Leadership at the STC Summit Conference in Anaheim. I was a bit apprehensive about the presentation, because I was talking about myself and sharing stories that made me vulnerable. (As an introvert, that’s not something I’m comfortable doing.)

The response was amazing. For those two days of the STC Summit and the week afterwards, I have made more and meaningful connections than I’d made in years. My next post will talk about how I’m trying to keep the discussion going.


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