How to scare off a potential chapter volunteer.

More on my adventures as a new association member…

What is one way to discourage a budding volunteer? Not listening to or clarifying a volunteer’s intentions.

Case in point…I offered to help on a committee of a local chapter only to be stunned when my name appeared on the roster as the chair. Next thing I knew, I was being tasked (not asked) to do something I hadn’t counted on. Of course, some would say it is my fault for not being clear on what volunteering looked like from my end. But then again, for me the words “I will help with XYZ” did not equate to “I will chair XYZ.”

Of course, I will complete the task and probably will be glad I did. After all, it is taking me out of my comfort zone and will be a boon to my resume. But will this experience make me more reluctant to raise my hand in the future? Could this same scenerio scare off other potential awesome volunteers?

More importantly…is this miscommunication my fault or the board’s? What do you think?