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The Ask

Orange Leaders
Orange Leaders Tuesday July 2, 2013
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by Bre Hallberg

Have you ever run into someone, maybe it’s a “friend” from Facebook, or a follower from Twitter, and you begin the conversation with something that you read about them? It could be someone you talk to once a year, yet you feel as if you know them so well—after all, every day you get a play-by-play of their day, when they brush their teeth, what they had for dinner and of course adorable pics of their little ones.

I’ve been there, about to comment on something I read and realized that this is just plain awkward. I don’t know this person well enough to talk about the things they have mentioned on social media, without feeling somewhat like a stalker. I only think I know them, but Facebook and Twitter never give the whole story, do they?

In this day and age, when we live in a world filled with pics, tweets, posts, Instagrams, and pins, it’s easy to paint a picture of the person you want people to think you are, but maybe it’s not the person you actually are.

It’s easy for us to let social media replace the real thing. How many times have you created a Facebook post, written an email, sent a text or tweeted a plea to get volunteers to come help you? How did that work for you?

I recently hosted a movie night in the park in my neighborhood. I sent an email, texts, Facebook posts, etc., and it didn’t make a bit of difference until I made a personal invite. When I walked up to a neighbor and told her about what I was doing, and invited her family, it was as is she had heard it for the first time.

Don’t we do this with our volunteers? We wonder why they aren’t seeing the fact that we need help; we have used every form of media possible. But that’s just it, we are shying away from the personal asks. The ones that require investing time into relationships. We are bombarded with so much these days; it’s time we make things personal again.

In The Volunteer Revolution, Bill Hybels says, “Despite our efforts to publicly communicate needs and ask people to serve, by far the most effective ask is the personal one—and the more personal, the better. In fact, volunteers make the best volunteer recruiters.”

Social media has many advantages but it can never take the place of the real thing, the meaningful conversations and the personal invitations.

The next time you go to send that text or Facebook post, consider how you could make it personal. Maybe all you really need to do is to walk up to someone and ask.

Developed by Orange, YouLead is designed to develop the leadership skills of yourself, your team and your volunteers. It centers on answering three basic questions: What can I do to continue learning as a leader? How can I be intentional about connecting with my volunteers consistently? What can we do to stay on the same page as a team? We do this by creating materials that can be digested in 20 easy minutes. Click here to learn more about a subscription to YouLead.

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