One of my favorite memories from early in Cami and I’s relationship was a conversation we had at Waffle House.  We both worked at the same church (and still do!) and knew that there were some complexities we would face working together and dating each other.  Whether it was good wisdom or bad judgment we decided to share with each other a little bit about what we were looking for in a spouse.  It is one of my favorite memories because I remember thinking “I wonder what I could hear her say that would make me lose interest?

Cami still likes to joke about that night at Waffle House – because before the conversation was done I told her “You know, I am just really into you…so right now if you told me what you were looking for in a man is someone who wants to be a firefighter, I would think I could make it work.”   I knew I liked her, and that night I was not going to let anything weed me out!

While the conversation at Waffle House didn’t unearth anything big, it was a very helpful exercise for both of us.  We each had qualities we were looking for in a spouse and we wanted to begin looking and figuring out of those qualities existed in each other.

Evaluating the volunteers on your team shouldn’t have to involve a DTR (define the relationship) talk at Waffle House, but it should include some clarity about what you are looking for in members of your team.  Here are 3 Qualities that make up a good volunteer:

They Embrace the Vision – A good volunteer knows the direction of the team and organization and participates in helping to fulfill the vision.  They don’t create sideways energy, but bring focus to help accomplish the right things.  Embracing the vision means they know there are a lot of things the team could do, but they stay clear on the few things the team should do.

They Embody the Culture – Every team has their own unique footprint, their special sauce, their specific DNA.  A good volunteer doesn’t just get things done; they do things in a way that congruent with the personality of the team.  Embodying the culture means they carry the leader’s heart and mindset into their specific role.

They Encourage their Teammates – Unless you have a volunteer team of 1 person, synergy between people matters.  Volunteers have to get along with their teammates if everyone is going to be able to flourish.  A good volunteer is an agent of encouragement; they find ways to breathe life into those they serve alongside.  Encouraging teammates simply means a person is able to identify something praise worthy and call it out!