Originally uploaded by Misnomer971
I greatly enjoyed this evening's Toastmaster's meeting...right up to the General Evaluator's rant, that is.
I invited some friends to our meeting and was pretty happy with the proceedings until one of our members whose role it was to give a general evaluation of the meeting, chose instead to rant and rave and insult people. How disappointing.
I have published articles on volunteer leadership and blogged here about the same topic. It is always disappointing when someone who should know better, lets emotions take over and does a lot of damage to their own reputation by lashing out inappropriately, especially with a group of volunteers.
There are ways to criticize constructively and none of them include personally belittling someone in front of a group or ranting about things, regardless of what your emotional opinion may be. It's also very embarrassing when there are several guests in a meeting whom you are trying to show what your club is really about. There was nothing professional or constructive about this person's assessment and it just came off like an attack on well meaning, though not perfect, club members who stepped up to fill difficult roles and did their best. Again, how disappointing.
I wish I had a videotape of this general evaluator's ranting so that I could show the person just how horrible it was. Of course, when we misbehave we really don't want to see a replay. It would be nice to give a critique though of when someone, in the heat of the moment, steps way over the line.
The bottom line to remember is this: when volunteer organizations cease to be fun....when others in the club make us uncomfortable or attack us....it is then that people find a better place to spend their time. Be cognizant of this BEFORE you rant and you may save your club some grief...and some members.
I think mom and dad said it best with the old truism: If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything.