Role Characteristics of Exceptional Advisors
An exceptional advisor would…
- Build a good rapport with students in the organization they advise. Only through building good relationships with group members can advisors be effective and influential. Advisors begin building rapport simply by knowing everyone in the organization and attending group functions.
- Find a good balance between being overly involved and under-involved. Advisors set principles and offer guidance and do not directly do the work which is the responsibility of the students.
- Strive for the group to be self-sufficient where the members resolve their own conflicts and solve their own problems. Students grow more from their own choices than following orders.
- Allow the group to fail. Although this is often a difficult thing to watch, it is very powerful in developing student leaders. Failure can be the best learning experience. It is also important that the advisor not take responsibility for an organization’s failures. The choice of whether or not to act is the students’ decision. An advisor feeling overly responsible is most likely too involved in the group.
- Model the behavior they would like to see repeated. When a good rapport has developed, students will model themselves after their advisor.
- Provide members with constant support but also challenge leaders to continue developing themselves and the organization.
- Develop a presence at organization meetings and functions
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