Parks and Recreation’s Volunteer Services offers a free, 9-session “Step Up to Leadership” course. The course was developed by volunteers, for volunteers. It covers a wide range of topics to help you develop leadership skills and build strong communities. Please contact Volunteer Services or Devon Bundy (902.490.5909) for more information.
The first half of the course explores:
- personality types
- team work
- group dynamics
- planning for your passion
The second half of the course provides information on:
- creating a non-profit organization
- the legalities and practicalities of being a board member for a non-profit organization
- effective meetings
- conflict resolution
- public speaking
The program has a full, well-rounded agenda to provide the necessary tools and techniques to create effective leadership and community involvement.
Step Up To Leadership session descriptions
Session 1: Come as You Are
“Come as You Are” sets the stage for participation in the Step Up To Leadership program. You are encouraged to voice your expectations and what you hope to learn. This first session will enhance your self-awareness, develop your sensitivity to others, and highlight your leadership qualities. Participants will create the ground rules to make the Step Up to Leadership classroom a safe, supportive, and comfortable environment.
- Recognize why grassroots participation on boards, committees, and in the community is important
- Explore the participants’ interests, strengths, and challenges
- Understand how group diversity strengthens board and committee performance
- Identify skills that lead to empowerment
Session 2: Planning for Your Passion
“Planning for Your Passion” provides an opportunity to identify what you are passionate about doing in your community. You will become familiar with planning as a process to help clarify your goals and direct your choices.
- Understand the stages in planning for the future
- Explore the importance of having a vision
- Identify the values that influence decision making
- Learn to set goals
- Take stock of personal strengths
- Create an action plan for your passion
Session 3: Team Up
The purpose of “Team Up” is to model a new type of collaborative leadership.
- Understand elements necessary to work as a team
- Recognize positive and negative dynamics people working in groups typically experience
- Learn benefits of collaboration
- Become more aware of the importance of power and trust for effective leadership
Session 4: Understanding Diversity
This session will create a deeper understanding about diversity. You will become more aware of your own beliefs and feelings associated with different social groups. You will learn to recognize the negative impact of prejudice and injustice. You will also explore ways to build a more inclusive community.
- Share respectfully in the group thoughts and feelings about diversity, prejudice and injustice
- Question assumptions about social groups
- Understand the cyclical process of socialization
- Make personal commitments to build an inclusive society
- Gain a more profound understanding about ourselves
Session 5: Embracing Diversity
“Embracing Diversity” demonstrates ways to share life experiences with those different from ourselves, and to build the relationships necessary for creating an inclusive community. You will focus on connecting with people one-on-one.
- Increase ability to empathize
- Recognize defense mechanisms that interfere with your ability to build relationships
- Practice communication that reduces defensiveness in others
- Learn how to receive criticism
- Learn how to interrupt offensive remarks and behaviour
- Experience positive effects of reconciliation
Session 6: All Aboard
a) All Aboard - The Legalities
“All Aboard: The Legalities” prepares you to serve on the board of a non-profit organization. It explains how non-profit organizations work and the legal standards board members must follow and reinforces the principle that grassroots voices are needed in community.
- Learn the different types of organizations, including the difference between incorporated and unincorporated organizations
- Learn how to form an organization
- Understand what a board of directors is and its responsibilities
- Learn the legal duties of directors and how to practice risk management
b) All Aboard - The Practicalities
In this session, the same principles are presented as in All Aboard – The Legalities, but this time in practical terms.
- Learn key responsibilities for the board of directors
- Understand the different job descriptions for board officers and members
- Identify what to look for in a board member manual or orientation packet
- Know how to review budgets
- Learn advantages to the board working as a team
Session 7: Meeting Manners, Meeting Matters
“Meeting Manners, Meeting Matters” shows you how to plan and conduct meetings. You will learn the basics of parliamentary procedure as explained in Robert’s Rules of Order to allow individuals representing a wide variety of viewpoints to discuss significant matters and make decisions about how to proceed. Robert’s Rules of Order provide structure in meetings from setting an agenda to taking minutes, or from discussing controversial issues to electing officers of a board.
Not every meeting needs to be conducted under the formal rules of parliamentary procedure, however. You will also learn how to prepare for and conduct informal planning meetings.
- Learn about things that go wrong in meetings
- Practice planning and conducting effective meetings with Agendas, Meetings, and Rules of Order
- Learn tips for better listening
Session 8: Conflict as Opportunity
Effective leaders must be able to work through conflicts without losing sight of their goals. Most people have the tendency to either attack someone they disagree with or avoid them altogether. This session provides information and strategies that will help participants turn conflict into opportunity.
- Learn to view conflict as a problem to be solved,@ not a battle to be won
- Apply analysis and understanding to conflict situations
- Recognize different responses to conflict and know which response is most helpful in any given situation
- Become aware of how to manage anger
- Understand why conflict escalates
- Use a step-by-step process to resolve conflict
Session 9: Speak Up, Speak Out
This sessions gives you tips on how to speak effectively and persuasively. These tips will by particularly useful as you prepare a presentation about your passion for the final session and the graduation celebration.
- Learn general guidelines for giving speeches
- Understand reasons for giving a speech and how to best formulate different types of speeches
- Learn tips on giving impromptu speeches
Session 10: Graduation!
“Stepping Out” celebrates successful completion of the Step Up to Leadership program. Your family, friends, co-workers, and community partners can all be there to congratulate you on your achievement.
- Reflect on knowledge gained
- Enhance partnership networks
- Demonstrate public speaking ability
- Learn from others about their passions