When it comes to either Region VOA’s, Area VOA’s, Council VOA’s, District VOA’s or a Crew, there is only one way it’s going to be successful: if communication has a strong, solid foundation. According to John Adair “Author of Develop your Leadership “Communication is the sister of Leadership.” What I take away from that is that Leadership and Communication go hand in hand. Without successful Communication great leadership is impossible.
I have been Vice President of Communications from the Crew level to my current position on the Region. The most important thing I have learned is that a lack of Communications isn’t going to help anybody.
The work of successful Communication starts when a term begins or,even before. The New officers and advisers need to figure out the form of Communication that works best with everyone, whether that be a group text, a facebook chat, emails, whatever it is it has to happen. Once you determine which form of Communication will work best for your group, you need to get to know each other on a personal level.The most simple way to do this is to have an in person meeting, but if that is not possible due to distance or whatever individual circumstance, the next best option is to use an online group chat such as Google Hangouts. Google hangouts are great for a number of reasons; infact, we on the Region use Google Hangouts to see each other's face while we work, which in turn makes our conference calls more effective. We actually end up getting a lot more done, in a shorter amount of time when we use a video streaming service instead of a conference call.
Now, whether it be a google hangout or a in-person meeting, have some fun! If you’re all in one room together do something fun, such as an escape room or geocaching. Do something that gets everyone active and participating. If you are on a google hangout, try to watch a movie together or play an online game that gets everyone working together. Whatever it is, make the most out of it, this is your time to make those personal bonds that will ensure a great term with internal communication.
I also understand that sometimes things get rocky during a term, everyone has a life outside of Venturing. Let your team know if you can’t be around due to a personal problem. it isn’t the end of the world, you’re group will understand and band together to help you accomplish your tasks while you are unavailable. Not letting your team know if there is an issue can cause a breakdown of communication. Remember,you and your VOA are a team.Teams will go through many phases of communication breakdowns before they find the method that works best for them. Amanda Hobgood, NER VOA President says “communication increases understanding, fellowship and unity”. This is perfect comparison for a VOA because you need all three for a successful year! For more specific instructions, ideas or problem solving techniques, you can reach out to the regional Venturing communications team at firstname.lastname@example.org.