Why Leaders of Volunteers must master the skill of conflict resolution with volunteers?
Volunteer retention. Hesitant to jeopardize their paycheck, paid staff tolerate poor follow up, insecure bosses, or even abuse. Volunteers on the other hand are not having it! If you treat them poorly, expect too much, show up late too many times, or keep correcting them, they simply assert themselves by leaving. Unresolved conflict correlates positively with increased attrition. In today’s volunteer world, those who manage volunteers must be experts at resolving conflict. But what may be worse than losing volunteers is retaining the wrong ones.
Perpetuating dysfunction. Chatty Charlie just won’t shut up. Possessing zero self-awareness, he ruins team meetings. If he corners you, panic ensues. Then there’s Sultry Samantha, a favorite worship team volunteer who doesn’t get that her V-neck sweater and too-tight jeans may be revealing more than any of us want to see. How about Alibi Andy? He keeps offering to take on major responsibilities but his excuses are placing you in an impossible dilemma.
Resolving these kinds of issues requires initiating uncomfortable subjects and often with people we love. Few want to enter the necessary tunnel of chaos that may ensue. Yet failure to address these kinds of issues will forever doom your volunteer ministry to mediocrity.
David was at odds with Saul, his son Absalom, and his wife. Paul’s tussles with Peter, the pillar and Barnabas, the Son of Encouragement are detailed in Galatians 2 and Acts 15.
If you’re a leader of volunteers, you’re going to experience conflict. That’s why at the Executive Course in Volunteer Ministry Development one of the subjects we address is dealing with volunteer conflict. We teach principles throughout that will show you how to mitigate volunteer conflict before it breaks out. Besides conflict resolution, you’ll learn perspectives and practical approaches to volunteer ministry that will forever change the way you see and approach volunteer ministry.
by Al Newell