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Dealing with difficult situations

Sometimes things go wrong with volunteers. Perhaps they are not reliable or maybe they don’t seem to fit in with those around them. In reality, the issue may be with them, with people around them or they simply haven’t been trained properly. Ignoring the situation doesn’t help the club and generally not the volunteer either. Well prepared, honest conversations can help everyone.

Support Cambridgeshire in association with the Volunteering Hub have prepared a useful guide to Dealing with Difficult Volunteers. Alternatively, although developed for the salaried environment, ACAS has a range of materials on the issue of Challenging Conversations and How to Manage Them. These include a guide and also a step-by-step table to managing challenging conversations.

Sometimes, it is not the volunteers who are causing difficulties. Coaches can find that it is parents of children they are coaching that present the greatest challenge. Setting out club expectations of parents through a Parents’ Code of Conduct can be helpful. This might include respecting players and officials or being punctual in picking up their children after an event.

If there are teachers involved in the club, they may be useful sources of advice on dealing with difficult parents also. If all else fails, you might find some helpful (and amusing) observations here.