Following on from Ben’s great post on accountability I thought I would write about asking for Help.
It is a funny thing asking for help, primarily because as humans (well most of us) we don’t like to show our weaknesses. Asking for help does that and as such we so often do it wrong.
Point 1 – The Truth
I have seen this a couple of time and been a culprit of it as well. You speak to a GSL or DC/ADC and they say “how are things going” you respond with “yes they are going well, we could do with more leaders but who couldn’t”
This is not you asking for help. This as a stock response or as a joke to break the tension.
If you struggling say so, ok maybe not
“Well, I am on my own, I have not seen the GSL for months, the young people have toasted marshmallows on sticks for the last I don’t know how many meetings, my wife is about to leave me I am going to get fired because I spend more time photocopying permission forms than working, oh and if I have not had two double vodkas by 10:00 I can’t cope with the day”
But if you speak to your ADC/DC or RDS you need to remember you are not their only call. They need to prioritise, so “yea we are doing ok” is like a flag to say check back next year/meeting.
Point 2 – Be Clear in what you want
If you just sit on the floor in a puddle if tears cling to the DC trousers sobbing
“HELP ME PLEASE HELP ME”
it is counter productive.
Its easier to find someone willing to come along 10 mins early to collect subs, than to find someone to be the new leader. However, there is every chance that once you have them help you will be able to increase their workload.
So when asking for help say
“I am over worked. If I could get rid of the subs and admin then I could focus on the programme.”
Or maybe if is money or training you want, but be specific about your needs. It helps those trying to help you.
Point 3 – Help Yourself
There seems to be this belief that it is someone elses responsibility to look after recruitment. The problem is that someone is everyone.
Part one of helping yourself, when you ask for help, give whoever you’re asking the heads up on what you have done so far. Saves them asking the same set of people and alienating then
“I have written to all the parents asking if they can help out and had no responses. I have also put an advert up in the local shop and church”
Part 2 is to think outside the box when it comes to recruiting people
That guy in work you speak to every morning at the coffee machine, drop into the conversation that you’re involved in scouting they might be looking for a way back in.
On dress down Friday wear your IScout T-shirt and see who comes up to talk to you.
Leave that page advertising the Christmas tree sale next to the photocopier.
I personally have an excellent relationship with works graphical design department, as such, I have an easy way to get professional posters, certificates, newsletter templates etc.
Point 4 – Accept the Help offered.
It is very sad but I have heard the comment before.
“We asked for new leaders and we got a parent rota and someone to do the subs, the GSL just does not listen to what we need”
Ok I accept it was not what you were looking for but, if you’re not doing the subs, and you have extra parents to help out every week are you not in a better place that you were before you asked.
Another thing to remember is that, if you do get some more help, be it a Leader ,Young Leader or a parent helper remember to use them. They will leave faster than you can say Baden-Powell if each week they turn up and get met by
“Oh, I don’t have time to explain what I want to you, I will just do it myself it will be easier.”
Remember we do this for the young people, so please if someone is interested but not at your group/unit/area don’t ignore their offer. Recruitment is recruitment help them get in touch with someone who can help them help out somewhere. The more Adults supporting the movement the more young people who can take part in scouting activities.