Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Communication Conflicts and Volunteer Organizations

 Rinse. Wash. Repeat:  I've seen a pattern when it comes to getting involved with volunteer organizations. The newcomer shows up and is fresh with ideas. The long-standing members don't want to give up too much power and, also having been in newcomer's shoes, have a sense of what will work, what won't work and what has failed before.

The newcomer either gives up and moves on or conforms with hopes of some day being involved in calling the shots.  Eventually the newcomer gets their chance only by that time they have lost some of their creative edge and energy. 

The conflict comes in the communication.

When I was in Europe for the Prague Marathon, one of the gentlemen I talked to at the Expo referred to our activity as jogging.  Runners don't like it when what we do is called jogging.  Call it our dark little prejudice.  In the states we equate jogging with that fad in the 70s where people wore jogging suits and did something just slightly less goofy than power walking.

Here's the thing:  That gentleman wasn't talking about that jogging when he used the word.  He was using the word jogging to be the English translation of whatever word is "running" in Check or Lithuanian or Romanian.  

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