Taking Advice

If there is one thing I’ve learned about fundraising managers it is that they love to pass on their knowledge. Almost every person that has been in the nonprofit world for any number of years can tell you stories of an old boss that was too hyper-critical or micro-managed. And occasionally this translates to them wanting to pass on their learned knowledge to you.

Often times these kind of experience can teach you untold lessons and give you great insight into fundraising or how to work with your boss and be successful at your job. But in order to get there you have to learn, as I talked about in my last post, how to shelf your ego. You need to be willing to overlook your own recognition for a moment and listen, even if you already know what you are being taught.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been taught a lesson that I have already heard and at the same time learned an unintended insight. The other advantage to listing to this kind of advice is that it can endear you to other people. People enjoy passing on their wisdom and expertise as they have often worked very hard to get where they are. Patience and active listening can be of invaluable benefit to you and your team.


One Response to Taking Advice

  1. Janice Chan says:

    I once volunteered at a hospital, and expectedly most of the other volunteers were pre-med students or thinking about careers in medicine. At our orientation, one of the nurses stressed just asking people to show or explain stuff to us. “People love showing off what they know,” she said. And more often than not, so long as it wouldn’t interfere with actually taking care of the patient in a timely manner, this was very true.

    You recommend patience and active listening – something that fundraisers do with donors and prospects all the time (at least I’d hope so!). Even though our relationships with our coworkers and managers is obviously different from those outside the organization, it’s important to remember to respect and be kind to the people we work with as well. Just because we know them better doesn’t mean we shouldn’t give them some of the same courtesies we would a stranger.

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