Top 7 Ways to Acquire Leadership Skills While Volunteering – Jessica Freeman

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Volunteering is an extraordinary activity that’s gaining more and more popularity. I call it extraordinary because this simple concept of offering your time and energy for helping with different causes, combined with the numerous benefits that come with it, will improve your life and the life of others significantly.

In the present times, you can find volunteering opportunities in a matter of minutes. There are so many non-governmental institutions that are trying to make a change. So many causes that require attention, and so many kind-hearted individuals who do this on a smaller scale. Volunteering is all about giving and not expecting back.

Besides fulfilling one of your basic human needs (the need to contribute), you’re also richening your life by acquiring different skills, knowledge, and resources. Here are just a few benefits of volunteering:

  • Builds connections and develops relationships between people
  • It is a good way of adding a bit of variety to your social life
  • Develops mental stability
  • Improves your self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Boosts your chances of landing better jobs
  • It’s fun
  • It helps you build A LOT of skills.

Our skills are essential for our professional career. If volunteering can improve the efficiency of our skills and traits, it would be a shame for anyone to miss living this experience for at least just once. Leadership and education are interconnected, so if you’re willing to commit to one, you will benefit from both.

Nevertheless, in today’s post, we’re going to explore the ways in which volunteering can help you acquire a specific important trait: leadership aptitudes. Volunteering can make you a great leader. If you’re a leader in life, you’ll most likely deal with less social problems, fewer issues caused by self-confidence and self-esteem, and you’re likely to make better decisions for yourself and others.

Let’s take a quick peek at these 7 ways in which you can build leadership skills while volunteering:

1.   Practice the Art of Commitment

Commitment is a hard trait to master. Yet, those who manage to fully commit to their goals and activities tend to reach the top of the ladder. A so-called leader that doesn’t have the power to commit to his projects and the patience to deal with his team will never go too far.Volunteering can help you practice this particular trait. Learn how to emotionally connect to your goals and causes, and add this important skill to your collection.

2.   Open Up Your Perspective

Volunteering can help you open up your mind in various ways. First off, you’ll meet a lot of new people that will teach you a lot of things. You’ll witness new cultures, new ways of thinking, and many problems that unfortunate individuals face. Volunteering experiences will make you an open-minded person, and being open-minded definitely counts while you’re leading others.

3.   Give Value and Expect Nothing

As previously mentioned, volunteering is all about giving something without expecting anything. Well, if you’re volunteering, you should do your best to offer a lot of value.Get involved as much as you can, and do things that make a difference without asking for something in return. If you learn to do that, leading other people won’t come with many frustrations and disappointments.

4.   Focus on Developing Softer Skills

You’d be tempted to think that volunteering is all about developing professional skills. However, you must pay attention to your softer skills such as self-confidence, discipline, creativity, empathy, and so on.

These “soft” skills are great improvements to have even if you’re not aiming to be a leader. Yet, if you are, I’d suggest you consistently upgrade these mental traits up until you feel the amazing difference they make.

5.   Move Out of Your Comfort Zone Consistently

If you volunteer, don’t be lazy. Don’t be comfortable, and don’t be selfish. Do not allow your comfort zone to persist. Keep getting out of it as you keep working on your projects. This is a really good practice for your professional future!

6.   Learn as Much as Possible

Good leaders never stop learning. This is a mindset or an attitude that’s making the difference between great leaders and average ones. When you volunteer, you are learning so many things. Your social environment will be helpful, and so will be the experiences you’ll live. Stay open to learning throughout your volunteering journey and you’ll eventually make it a habit that’ll benefit your life forever.

7.   Network, Network, Network! 

Networking is the most efficient way of acquiring important resources for your future. Resourcefulness is a high-quality trait that’s frequently observable in powerful leaders. Being able to fix problems and find solutions through the help of resources that come from other people will take you far, far away.

Sally Thomas, HR professional at Australian Writings, shares her opinion on the matter

“Volunteering gives you the opportunity to establish constructive relationships with other like-minded individuals. Generally, people that are willing to contribute to greater causes are people worth meeting and keeping in touch with.”

Conclusion

If you’ve never volunteered before, I’d really suggest trying it for at least once. You will do that in case you’re truly serious about developing your leadership skills. Volunteering is amazing in numerous ways, and you’ll feel it on your skin once you start this wonderful journey. After a successful volunteering experience, you’ll want more and more, and it won’t be hard to keep doing it over and over again.

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Jessica Freeman is a blogger and freelance writer from Sydney, Australia.

She enjoys covering various topics, from education and technology to motivation and productivity. She also has her own blog where she presents top writing tips. Follow Jessica on Google+ and Twitter.