What motivates you? Influence

Learn the motivational styles of volunteers, such as influence-orientated volunteers whom are driven by making an impact.

As volunteers come to organizations, they bring with them a variety of reasons for volunteering. Those reasons fall into three major categories: achievement, affiliation and influence. Volunteers should not be placed into one of these categories and then have their options for volunteering limited; we are a unique blend of these categories and have a lot to offer the organization for which we volunteer. In this series of articles, we look at these motivational styles and ways to recognize individuals within those styles. Making an impact is what matters to those who are motivated by influence; they just want to influence others.

Some volunteers help get their organization noticed for all the right reasons in their community when they utilize their position and reputation to draw attention to their volunteer activities, and the organization they are volunteering for gets the positive press. This volunteer may be motivated primarily by influence. An individual with this motivational style has the goal of making an impact or influencing others with their efforts.

When they have time to think things over, they may consider how they can influence their community to make a positive impact on a situation or circumstance. They may think carefully how they can connect with others to build goodwill and share the message that needs to get out. They have a unique ability to give advice and many times have strong opinions. They can use their position and reputation to influence others and help change opinions. This is can be very helpful to an organization, especially when there is an important message to get out.

As you consider these motivational styles, does one of them resonate with you? Do you feel you are a unique blend of these, or volunteer for different reasons in different settings? You can probably identify with each of these styles to some extent, but most easily relate to one of them, your primary type. Understand that volunteers of each type are needed by organizations across the state to fill a variety of positions, and that finding your place can be just a few contacts away. If you want to join the fun and experience the magic of friends, fun and making a difference, you may find a place with your favorite community organization like Michigan State University Extension. Volunteers who are motivated and driven by achievement are successful in many organizations and you may find your place when you contact your local MSU Extension office.

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