7 Keys to Influencing Your Volunteers

You've heard the statement...leadership is influence.

It's true and that means if you want to become a better leader for your volunteers, you've got to increase your influence with them.

Here's 7 keys to raising your level of influence with your volunteers.

1. Talk less and listen more.  That might sound counterproductive...after all...don't influencers have all the answers?

Actually no.  Great influencers are great listeners.  They ask great questions and find great answers.  If you really want to influence volunteers, then listen...really listen to them.  When volunteers know you value their ideas and input, you will gain influence with them.

2. Praise often and criticize rarely.  You won't gain influence with your volunteers if you are constantly criticizing them.  People don't follow criticism.  They follow encouragement and positive feedback.

3. Be a giver instead of a taker.  The motive behind godly influence is not selfish gain.  It's to help others.  Generosity leads to influence. 

4. Be positive instead of negative.  Negative people can be influencers...but they influence volunteers in the wrong direction.  If you want to influence volunteers in the right direction, then be a positive person.

5. Be quick to take blame and slow to take credit.  This is another one that might sound counterproductive...but it's not.  When you admit your mistakes instead of hiding them or shifting the blame, you will gain the respect of your volunteers...and respect leads to influence.  And when you empower your volunteers and give them the credit for wins, you also gain influence.  Empowerment leads to influence.

6. Keep your word.  Integrity leads to influence.  Follow through when you tell your volunteers you are going to do something.  They notice. 

7.  Care...really care about your volunteers.  When your volunteers know you really care about them, it opens their hearts to your influence.