Sunday morning is full of pressure, stress and distraction. I wrote about how to deal with and minimize distractions in the tech world in a Sunday| Magazine article that was released earlier this week.
Our volunteer base is just as susceptible to this as we are. However, as a technical director, we’re held to a higher standard because of our leadership position. We set the example to those we lead. If we as tech directors are slacking and not paying attention, it’s even worse because we’re responsible for what happens.
It is easy to slack off due to tiredness and quickly lose focus on what we’re doing. When you’re tired, you miss things and I know that when I’m tired, I’m cranky. I get frustrated more easily then I normally would.
The tech director position tends to attract people who have type A personalities, people who only need to be told something once, and people who are perfectionists.
Unfortunately, when we work with volunteers, we need to find a way to curb that a little so it doesn’t get out of control because many times our volunteers might not be type A or even if they are, we need to remember that most times our volunteers aren’t professional audio/lighting/video techs. They are still learning and it’s our job to direct them and lead them in a way that allows them to shine in the role and opportunity we’ve trusted them with.
Sometimes, I get frustrated when I teach the same thing or instruct a volunteer with how to do something over and over again. Sometimes, I feel like I’m always telling them to remember to un-mute the groups or VCA’s in order to get the system to pass audio or that our media is always stored in the same folder on our projection computer and that you need to delete last week’s media before you add this weeks media, or that you need to double-check all the lighting scenes before you fire them during a service. But, it’s what you have to do in order to be effective. They can’t read your mind and they’re humans who do this gig usually once a week at the most. Patiently and graciously remind them what they need to do and what you require of them.
Over communicating is key because it improves your team dynamic in alot of different ways. One way is that it keeps everyone on the same page. Continually reminding volunteers of the direction and purpose of what they’re doing and the techniques they need to use in order to make them effective. Then, make sure you affirm your team and build them up when they rock it and make it happen on a Sunday. And, when they get discouraged on the Sundays that aren’t so good, you can remind them how good it felt on the Sundays that they performed exceptionally.
Are you communicating effectively with your tech teams and volunteers? Or are you getting frustrated because you told them before and they should remember?