Supervisory Focus Area #1 (Part 2)

Coach successful implementation of the VAD

It is the end of Arlene's first month and she and Katherine are checking in. Katherine plans to set goals for some early success and help Arlene see the larger vision of her service.

Katherine: So how do you think it's going?

Arlene: Pretty good. I've been working at my desk in the morning then spending the afternoons at the food bank. I think I'm starting to settle in.

Katherine: That's good to hear. Do you think being a VISTA is different than what you used to do as a volunteer?

Arlene: I didn't think it would be that different, but it is. I'm not sure how to describe it exactly, but it's kind of like people look at me differently and I guess I have more responsibility.

Katherine: In what way?

Arlene: Well, when I was a volunteer, I had my shift in the pantry. I knew what to do and I came in and I did it. Now it's different. I'm here everyday. I work with a lot of different people and I guess some days I feel like I'm accomplishing less than I used to.

Katherine: Why do you feel that way?

Arlene: I guess it's harder to recruit volunteers than it is to hand out the food. And I don't always get to see the rewards of my work. That's discouraging.

How could Katharine coach Arlene to a better understanding of her VAD? (select the link that describes a good coaching response.)

  • A) Katherine: Well, let me tell you what I think should be done. Planning and strategizing can be hard work.
    As a coach, you want to ask questions, guide and negotiate a situation, not tell members what to do. Take a look at the other responses and see if you can find one that guides more than dictates.
  • B) Katherine: It's easy to get discouraged in this work, but don't let that get in your way. Here is our plan.
    Close. Part of being a coach is being able to empathize with the members. And show them that you see their point of view. But it is also important to guide them and ask questions that lead to a plan, not just tell them what to do. Take a look at the other responses and see if you can find one that coaches more actively.
  • C) Arlene: I can see that. Any kind of planning or strategizing often feels less active then providing services, but let's try to find a way to see results. So what do you think you'd like to do in the next two months?
    Good choice! As a coach it is important to listen and ask questions. We want to guide members to make their own plans, not just tell them what to do next.

Let's see how Katherine continues to coach Arlene

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