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5thGenTexan

Working With Others

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Last night we had a committee meeting and did a big stir of positions.  Our longtime CC/Treas is leaving.  The CM is moving up to CC it was suggested that the current ASM move up to CM.  The ASM made the suggestion I move to CM and he stay in ASM.  (He is a district level volunteer, OA Advisor, so on and so on, he is qualified, but will be leaving the pack in a year).  Anyway, the outgoing CC fully supported me as CM as well as our current CM.  

 

So, my "Assistant Den Leader" this year is in my opinion useless.

Last Fall we were attending a huge Council level event.  I had two parents address me by name and ask if thier Scouts should wear their uniform.  As I am mid sentence explaining yes they are representing the Pack and should wear the uniform, he walks into the conversation and tells them no because they are going to be playing and might mess it up.  His uniform practices are less than desirable when he wears it, most notably... blue jeans with holes in the legs.

 

We had a solo Tiger this year whos father is the Tiger DL, but he is also a police officer and is limited in the time he can give to us.  I totally understand and support him in the time he can give.  Now, the ADL was given the task last Fall of helping this Tiger DL make sure the Tiger advanced properly.  It came to my attention in Feb that he had done NOTHING and this Scout had not earned a single adventure loop.  Of course I took on the task to make sure he was completing requirements and recorded in Scoutbook.  

 

If that isnt bad enough I have witnessed him on two occasions being very sneaky vaping around Scouts at camp.  I'd like to seem him have no direct contact just on that alone, but....

 

So... his wife has decided to become involved in the Pack.  She planned Blue and Gold this year and initially had program that would have totaled over $1500 and is charging parents this year to attend the event.  I am very very very against this, but it is what it is this year.  Just hearing her ideas its obvious she has no knowledge of the Program and IMO has ideas that will "baby down" what we do have going.

 

So.  How do I go about learning to work and deal with people I can't stand?  I have WB plans at the beginning of next year but I am not sure that will be included in the program.  I really can not handle being in the same room with these people, but with my new position I have to find a way.

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Welcome to adult leadership.

Unfortunately, there are those in Scouting that want to do Scouting THEIR way or just cannot manage to play well with others. 

Some options:

  • Lead them. Easier said than done, but by setting expectations and leading by example, advising and guiding you may be able to get through. Continue to have discussions with them and let them know why you have certain expectations and how they can help you and the Cubs by following them. Hard, but really the Scouting way.  
  • It's your sandbox, your rules. Now that you are CM you have push back on certain behavior. Set the expectations and let everyone know what those are. Let them know if those expectations cannot be met you will look for someone who can meet them. The problem is you risk the Scout being pulled out of the program which is what you do not want. 
  • Walk Away. There those that suck the joy out of Scouting. I prefer not to be around these people as little as possible. I have walked away from non-critical positions at the end of my term because of people like that. Unfortunately CM is a critical position and not something you can just move on from without consequences to the youth. It's much easier to do that with something like district training chair,. SO not really a viable option here.
  • Get them some help. Assign someone that can work well with them, that knows the program and will follow your lead. Maybe that person can figure out how they tick.
  • Overwhelm them. Load them up with work that the pack needs. Sure they will screw it up, just give it back to them and tell them to fix it, but put enough weight on them as you can. Make it the least desirable work also. And hope they start pulling back because every time you see them you have a task for them. Kind of counter to Friendly, and again you risk loosing the Cub, but nothing makes people run from you like giving them more work every time they see you.
  • Suck it up. Sometimes you can't change people (either their attitudes/habits or by moving them along). So you just have to learn to deal with them for the good of the Scouts. I am not sure there is an easy way to do this other than always greet them with a smile and move on from them as quickly as possible and focus on the youth. 

Just a few ideas. Hope it helps. 

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I am leaning in the direction of not accepting the CM at all.  I am thinking its better for my sanity to stay as a Den Leader only.  In fact I don't want any position on the committee, and I dont want my opinion asked for.  Honestly I want to be left alone and provide the program to the best of my ability to my Den.  The only other option is to leave entirely and that is bad for my own kid.

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Expanding on the "my sandbox, my rules" approach - insist that the pack will be run according to the BSA materials for the Cub program.  This begins with everyone being trained for not only their position but all of the positions in the pack (aside - new facilitator led Cub leader training came out yesterday, it is scheduled to run 4 hours to cover DL, CM, MC).  Once people know what their job is, and what everyone elses job is, they know what is expected of them and they know why we do things one way and not another.

 

@HelpfulTracks I assume your handle is referring to the BP quote about leaving tracks.  One of my very favorites - I am big on not reinventing the wheel so I use this quote often to remind my teams to capture their lessons learned "for those coming after".

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20 minutes ago, jjlash said:

 

@HelpfulTracks I assume your handle is referring to the BP quote about leaving tracks.  One of my very favorites - I am big on not reinventing the wheel so I use this quote often to remind my teams to capture their lessons learned "for those coming after".

Indeed my nic/handle is based on the B-P quote, "No one can pass through life, any more than he can pass through a bit of country, without leaving tracks behind, and those tracks may often be helpful to those coming after him in finding their way."

I love the quote because it speaks to how I try to lead youth and adults. 

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8 hours ago, 5thGenTexan said:

I am leaning in the direction of not accepting the CM at all.  I am thinking its better for my sanity to stay as a Den Leader only.  In fact I don't want any position on the committee, and I dont want my opinion asked for.  Honestly I want to be left alone and provide the program to the best of my ability to my Den.  The only other option is to leave entirely and that is bad for my own kid.

I hate to see you walk away from the CM position, but sometimes saying no is the best choice for all involved, particularly you and your son. 

If you do choose this path, understand that the same people that you are having difficulty with (or someone like them) may end up in that position. Maybe your path can including influencing who will take that position and help make the choice a wise one for the youth.

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@5thGenTexan. personality questions aside, these questions are constant in scouting. I've always been asking myself, "What am I best at?" Or, more importantly, "What do I enjoy doing so much that a few flawed personalities won't dissuade me?"

So, for me, I would have loved to do nothing more than help rally venturing in my district and council. But, I realized that, with our troop merger, we had SMs and boys who needed a good bit of care to move them from Committtee-managed to PLC-managed. Neither the district/council nor our troop were completely devoid of abrasive personalities.  But at the troop level, there was no doubt that my SM and I and our troop's other ASMs knew how to mentor boys. Parents could disagree with us for a litany of reasons (e.g., the SM for the past few years never wore a uniform), but they couldn't disagree with smiles on the boy's faces.

So, I'm on the sidelines of my council venturing committee. The net effect was that I got assigned to a World Scout Jamboree troop -- as opposed to a crew. Oh well! I still get 36 youth to work with, and they'll let me wear my green suit when it suits me. Back home, this month a first-year can now tie a taut-line hitch. Paycheck!

Sounds like your after the same thing. Let someone who doesn't want to deal with a den be a CM.

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On 5/17/2019 at 9:14 AM, 5thGenTexan said:

So.  How do I go about learning to work and deal with people I can't stand? 

You have already taken the first step. Come on this forum and talk with people you can't stand. Once you've mastered that skill, dealing with similar people in the real world won't seem quite so hard. 

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Would it be inappropriate of me to developing a Leader guide that sets expectations and guidelines for our Unit Leaders?  

No smoking or any facsimile thereof around Scouts, uniform expectations for leaders, etc...  Everyone knows straight up what is expected of them?

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1 hour ago, 5thGenTexan said:

Would it be inappropriate of me to developing a Leader guide that sets expectations and guidelines for our Unit Leaders?  

No smoking or any facsimile thereof around Scouts, uniform expectations for leaders, etc...  Everyone knows straight up what is expected of them?

I am no expert but I would think it would be entirely appropriate especially if the content is taken directly from the BSA guidelines. 

If you're thinking about making your own rules, then your COR and your committee would probably need to approve the ideas first. But if you're talking about a "quick summary" of BSA guidelines for uniforms and smoking rules and other adult behavior guidelines, I don't see how that could be inappropriate. 

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Posted (edited)

IMHO, ideally the CO should do this as they select and approve adult leaders. But the reality for me has been the CO does not do this. Since the Program (common goal) is easier to deliver with adults who are on the same page (who then attract similar adults), the unit leader and committee have to seek and recruit those adults and possibly turn away those who volunteered first. 

I can recall a Pack trip to a AA baseball game. We managed to get scouts and adult leaders to attend in uniform, the fact it was Scout night with a discount helped. Hurray, easier to find and keep together. Hot night, by the third inning, I noticed some leaders who were also drivers, having a beer. Heh its a ball game, gotta have a beer!  Despite existing BSA guidelines regarding alcohol, we adults could not get on the same page, so no more ball games.

Now, our unit is struggling with adults who use their cellphones while driving to events with scouts. :mad:

IMO, guidelines are only as good as the adults. Recruit better adults.

My $0.02,

Edited by RememberSchiff
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Howdy,  fifthGenTexan…..

Whoever  ends up being your  CM,  it all takes cooperation.  The Scouts, no matter what age, see and pick up on "what's right" in inter human behavior by being around other humans bigger and more powerful than they. Parents, Scout Leaders, do they argue, or discuss?  Do they INSIST and REQUIRE?  Do they cooperate and get things done or sit around and (shudder) drink beer at inopportune times?

The best Scout Unit Committees in my experience have no "guidelines", if only the Scout Promise and Law.  These folks just know  what needs to be done how and talk and work and cooperate to get it done.  Some folks call it "consensus". 

The best operating units , the CM or SM have a very good relationship, open and working, with the CCh. 

Good luck to you.

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On 5/24/2019 at 11:27 PM, 5thGenTexan said:

Would it be inappropriate of me to developing a Leader guide that sets expectations and guidelines for our Unit Leaders?  

No smoking or any facsimile thereof around Scouts, uniform expectations for leaders, etc...  Everyone knows straight up what is expected of them?

You could write it down, but I think it would be more effective to discuss it face to face at a leader's meeting.  Once you communicate your expectations, then continue to live them.  If someone is chronically disgegarding them, then ask them to move on.

But, reading the earlier replies, three things I've picked up in my Scouting travels as a unit leader (CM & CC)

  1. Put program first.  Scouts, parents, other volunteers respond when it's about making sure the Scouts are active and having fun.
  2. Raise the bar.  As Cubmaster, you need to challenege the other leaders to deliver the best program in your district.  That you had a Tiger den leader who did nothing is inexcusable.  Half hearted uniforming - same thing.  Vaping in front of Scouts - same thing.  Everyone needs to be looking for ways to make this the absolute best program they can.
  3. Grow your pack.  The phrase "solo TIger Scout" is a red flag.  You should have 8+ TIger Scouts.  When you start to have a small group, you are stuck with whatever leaders show up.  WHen you have a big group, stronger leaders emerge.    Focus on program and actively look to grow.  Active, fun, well run packs turn into big, active, fun, well run packs.

Best of luck!!!

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On 5/26/2019 at 10:43 AM, ParkMan said:

You could write it down, but I think it would be more effective to discuss it face to face at a leader's meeting.  Once you communicate your expectations, then continue to live them.  If someone is chronically disgegarding them, then ask them to move on.

But, reading the earlier replies, three things I've picked up in my Scouting travels as a unit leader (CM & CC)

  1. Put program first.  Scouts, parents, other volunteers respond when it's about making sure the Scouts are active and having fun.  I am all about Program.  I was a Cub Scout from Wolf - AOL in the early 80s.  I feel like I get it more than a parent that just decided it might be fun to exercise their Pintrest skills. ;)
  2. Raise the bar.  As Cubmaster, you need to challenege the other leaders to deliver the best program in your district.  That you had a Tiger den leader who did nothing is inexcusable.  Half hearted uniforming - same thing.  Vaping in front of Scouts - same thing.  Everyone needs to be looking for ways to make this the absolute best program they can.  Our Tiger DL is excusable.  He is a Police Officer that works all over the 24 hour clock.  He was there but did not understand what was involved I believe.  My Asst Wolf DL was supposed to help and is the one that did nothing to help nor check on progress.  He is also the uniform slacker and vaper.
  1. Grow your pack.  The phrase "solo TIger Scout" is a red flag.  You should have 8+ TIger Scouts.  When you start to have a small group, you are stuck with whatever leaders show up.  WHen you have a big group, stronger leaders emerge.    Focus on program and actively look to grow.  Active, fun, well run packs turn into big, active, fun, well run packs.  Our entire Fall recruiting was messed up last year.  The Council decided to do things their way for Join Scout Night.  That way being their representative came in and did a generic recruitment spiel and did NOT let the Pack speak at all.  We were able to "Smile and Wave".  Also, out JSN is at the end of September, this year it is September 26, and school starts for us August 15.  Totally unacceptable in my opinion.  I think we signed up 5 Tigers and one stayed.  4 left before the first meeting.  I have suggested and actively planning a "Scout Show" for the community just after school starts.  We will have stations with Scout skill type activities open to the entire community to come see and DO what Scouts do.  I think it will work better than fast 15 minute spiel.  I also want to make sure we have a few games set up at our community Fall Festival this year to encourage more youths to join.

Best of luck!!!

 

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