Learning and development opportunities

Cancer Council NSW is committed to supporting you build your skills, knowledge and experience throughout your volunteering. We do this through the 70:20:10 learning and development philosophy, where typically you will obtain 70% of your knowledge through learning from experience on-the-job, 20 % of your knowledge will be acquired learning through other people and 10% through formal learning activities.

Learning from experiences (70%)

The most effective way to develop a new skill or behaviour is through experience.  Finding opportunities in your daily environment to practically apply and practice skills should provide the most significant contribution to meeting your development goals.

Learning from others (20%)

Identifying a colleague in the team, in the wider organisation or outside of the organisation who can act as a role model, coach, mentor or subject matter expert for a particular skill is an important way of learning and acquiring insights and tips which could only be provided from experience.

Please click on a development topics below for examples of how to implement these two types of learning. 


Cultural Awareness

Learning from experiences (70%)

  • Do background research on the culture you are trying to build awareness of
  • Consider cultural history when working with culturally diverse people – what do you need to take into consideration? How can you adapt your work to engage other cultures?
  • Visit the Cancer Council NSW Aboriginal Cancer website
  • Read Aboriginal Cancer Journeys on Cancer Council NSW website

Learning from others (20%)

  • Talk to other volunteers, employees or community members from culturally diverse backgrounds using the knowledge from your readings and/or training.
  • Identify individuals who are skilled at cross cultural communication and awareness, observe what they do that works well and approach them to share their tips.

Presenting and Public Speaking

Learning from experiences (70%)

  • Self-reflect about your experience of presenting – what went well, what would you change next time
  • Record yourself presenting or speaking and watch back to identify areas for improvement
  • Practice speaking in front of your friends or family
  • Watch good examples of public speaking e.g. Ted Talks
  • Observe how others speak and present well

Learning from others (20%)

  • Join a public speaking group or committee 
  • Ask your colleagues for feedback on your presentation 
  • Provide feedback to others on their presentation or public speaking event

People Leadership

Learning from experiences (70%)

  • Request feedback from others to clearly identify what aspect of effective relationship building and leadership to focus your development on 
  • Research the culture and behaviours of the team or organisation who you need to build relationships with
  • Read CCNSW Behavioural Framework, in particular ‘Focus on stakeholders’ and ‘Collaboration’
  • Research people leadership tips
  • Seek opportunities to practice relationship building skills e.g with your neighbours, at community groups, through social interactions
  • Take on assignments which usefully challenge or ‘stretch’ you to build relationships with employees or leaders you may not usually interact with
  • Take on leadership roles in groups when possible e.g. group assignments, network meetings and working groups
  • Complete a Reflective Learning Log on Dougal

Learning from others (20%)

  • Ask your supervisor how you currently display leadership
  • Arrange regular 1:1 development meetings with your supervisor to review and reflect on your development
  • Build a professional network of individuals (internal and external) whom you can go to for advice
  • Find a mentor with expertise in this area
  • Identify individuals demonstrating strong leadership skills, observe what they do that works well and approach them to share their tips
  • Increase interaction with other units to build up your network

Learning about Cancer Council NSW

Learning from experiences (70%)

  • Every volunteer role at Cancer Council NSW integrates and reflects the core values of the organisation

Learning from others (20%)

  • Ask your supervisor about the history of Cancer Council NSW and any unit/division you may be interested in
  • Network with other volunteers and employees across the organisation and ask them about what they are working on
  • Attend KIT (Keeping in touch) meetings or regional office meetings

Cancer Literacy

Learning from experiences (70%)

  • Observe employee roles and what kind of work they do in the cancer field
  • Identify how the projects you’re working on relate to the organisations values and beating cancer
  • Take time to do your own research on the Cancer Council NSW website and read about cancer and the services provided by Cancer Council NSW

Learning from others (20%)

  • Talk to your supervisor about their knowledge of a particular cancer type or topic
  • Attend KIT meetings, divisional updates, evaluation circle and lunchtime learning, where available

Communication

Learning from experiences (70%)

  • Ask a colleague whether they have a spare moment to listen to you explain about your role or something you are working, then ask for feedback on your verbal communication skills
  • Ask questions to keep your audience engaged in meetings and during presentations to ensure that they are listening and understand
  • Speak in front of the mirror, whether it’s reading an article or speaking about something you found at work and ask yourself how you can improve. Are you using body language? Eye contact? Using expression? Smile. All of these factors help to effectively communicate
  • Ensure to read over and edit your written communications

Learning from others (20%)

  • Ask a colleague when they have a spare moment to help you practise giving instructions (or an orientation for example). Ask for their feedback and then try again
  • Ask a colleague or volunteer to review a piece of written communication for you. Ask for their ideas on how you could improve to make the message clearer, and more easily understood
  • Practice effective verbal communication skills that you have developed through
    formal training as often as possible e.g. during meetings, presentations, 1:1 conversations

Project Management

Learning from experiences (70%)

  • Write a to-do list at the start of each day to know how much needs to get done, then prioritise the list
  • Manage a small project from start to finish
  • Provide colleagues with instructions and timeframes if assigning them with tasks

Learning from others (20%)

  • Ask others how they best manage their time and projects to get ideas
  • Request to observe a project meeting
  • Seek feedback from others on how well they feel you manage your project/s

Information Technology

Learning from experiences (70%)

  • If you’re not in an IT related volunteer role, see how you can integrate IT into your role and maximise the use of the technology available
  • Create solutions for an IT problem
  • Ask your supervisor about the possibility of joining an IT working group
  • Use self-reflection about your experience with using IT – what went well, what would you change next time
  • Observe how other volunteers and employees use IT to solve problems and in their day to day roles

Learning from others (20%)

  • Shadowing a colleague
  • Ask your supervisor about the opportunity for mentoring to acquire a specific IT skill

Customer Service

Learning from experiences (70%)

  • Observe other volunteers and employees interacting with others
  • Look for other opportunities and roles that might help build your skills e.g. volunteer for Daffodil Day
  • Read about some practical tips to build your skills and how you can put them into practice

Learning from others (20%)

  • Identify individuals who are great at customer service, observe what they do (for example, listen on a phone call) identify what worked well and approach them to share their tips
  • Ask for feedback from others about a recent interaction with a customer

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