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Training volunteers on tech teams
Let the new volunteers shadow you and ask questions, making sure you watch them and how they pay attention.

Training Volunteers on Tech Teams: Teach, Demonstrate, Observe, Release

After realizing that we didn’t have a process to get people properly trained at Asbury United Methodist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, I took a look at some different ways of teaching and adapted a process, to one that fits for the church.

Today’s teams have everything at their fingertips, except for a few things that have been dropped over the last several years.

Each organization has ways of doing things, and adapting these concepts to fit your organization, will help your tech teams grow.

What’s that you say?

Well, it’s the personal one-on-one aspect of training. One of the reasons why tech team members fail to get it, is that we’re not spending the necessary time to train our people one-on-one.

I noticed this about myself some time ago, where one might find themselves saying, “Well, they should just get it!’’ followed by, ‘’They’ve been watching for the past several weeks!” and then, “He/She said that they understood!”

In light of such commentary, it makes me think about a quote that has been in my life for several years now: “People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care!” This popular quote, which has been attributed to the likes of author John C. Maxwell and president Theodore Roosevelt, really took on a new meaning in the context of how to develop great “Tech Teams.”

After realizing that we didn’t have a process to get people properly trained at Asbury United Methodist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, I took a look at some different ways of teaching and adapted a process, to one that fits for the church.

Here’s our process:

Each organization has ways of doing things, and adapting these concepts to fit your organization, will help your tech teams grow.

For us at Asbury, we use a simple process, following these four “Rules:” Teaching, Demonstrate, Observing, and Release.  

Teach

Let the new volunteers shadow you and ask questions, making sure you watch them and how they pay attention. Pick up on any body language, and help them feel at ease, letting them know you’re not just going to turn them loose and set them up for failure! Also teach them to feel the weight and importance of why you’re doing it, and the way you do it.

Demonstrate

Making sure they can physically (see it) and do what you have been teaching them. Insuring they, again, understand the weight of responsibility, while they watch you.

Observe

Let them try, while you’re there. Do they have it? Do they get it? Do they understand it?  If, not, return to step one.

Release

Well, this is self-explanatory! Turn them loose, with the guidelines that you have in place, and watch their creative minds grow!

For us with the number of volunteers that we have, deciding to create a handbook for them proved to be particularly helpful. Making a camera handbook, one to describe the verbiage that we use on the job (such as push, pull, frame up, trac, etc.), along with descriptions with pictures on how we frame our camera shots, was extremely useful for those volunteers during the learning process.

In the midst of what your volunteer is learning, it might be a good thing to make a process evaluation sheet, to track your volunteer’s progress. We’ve had it happen where a volunteer is tracking a person on stage with a camera, but gets distracted, and the person that they are tracking walks out of the frame!

I’m sure this just happens to us, right?   Over the days and months training the volunteer, it’s good to keep track of what they have done well, and what they need some additional training on.

While working with your volunteers, take a moment and stop thinking about someone other than yourself and your organization. Focus on building life lessons, building people up, and not tearing them down.

Plant a seed!

Speak life!

Use tools and tactics, not just to be the best team, but to help take someone to the next level in their calling.

Write stuff down! Make a list for your day! Be productive! Don’t sit around! People are watching! 

If you want a healthy team, then take time to be a part of their life. Good luck and have fun in making your team strong.

It only takes one person to make a difference in someone’s life

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