Poke, Push, Nag!

My mom always tells me that you can’t make people do things.  A variation on the adage of leading a horse to water.  While i suppose she’s right to a point – i suppose you can prod, push and guilt people into doing things as well.  In the long run doing that doesn’t solve your long term problem of not having enough help, as many times these people will do it once and never again.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately as we’ll be on the hunt for volunteers for 2014 Club events.  I often wonder what makes people run events? What drives them away? How do we off set those negative drivers?

When i started at April i was almost literally dumped in the cattle pens.  It was my first event to volunteer at, the second I’d ever seen and i didn’t realize there were cows on the property!  I was taught a way to run stock events over years of helping.  A bit like boiling a frog – though i honestly enjoy it.

I wonder if that is the trick? Not boiling a frog, but moving people into a position when they’re ready instead of trial by fire?  On the surface, an event like April or June is easy to run: make bunch of phone calls, a few reservations, shop with someone elses money and try not to bugger the flyer.  Mix, ferment for 45 days and on the 46th day a stock trial appears.  Viola!

It was pointed out by a person on facebook that the problem is often not getting things together, but in a lot of cases it is dealing with the occasional competitor who either would benefit in a weekend seminar in constructive criticisim, or a requirement that they submit their varied and often lengthy complaints in writing instead of conversation.

I’m still working on some kind of master plan for this, but thankfully they are few and far between.

I see the poster on my commute home and wonder how/if it applies:


I like – watching my competitors.
I want – people to always have a good experience, even if it is not a great run.
I need – to find more people who can find satisfaction in running trials.


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2 thoughts on “Poke, Push, Nag!

  1. If I was closer, I’d work…. it’s an interesting post to me, because I keep trying to volunteer at agility trials and get turned away. Hmm.

    • I dunno that agility trials have the same issues. We have a pretty good volunteer set at Stock trials, but not many who are willing to be Course Directors. Conformation is doubly hard to find volunteers or Chairs as there are buckets of rules about who can look at who.

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