I am very fond of making goals before beginning any sort of project or experience in order to make your outcomes more measurable. Even in working with leadership goals can be extremely helpful for the leader them self and their participants.

For example; like I’ve mentioned before, I served as a first year and transfer student orientation leader. Since I worked with two different populations of students I had to assess my goals for each group differently. For the first year students I did goals with my students every orientation session I lead. The goals could be as simple as: To have a successful academic transition from high school to college I (or we) will make sure to spend 5 hours outside of class studying. And then we could measure how successful we were in that goal by either looking at final grades at the end of a year or even just looking at the grade after the first exam.

That’s just one example of incorporating a goal setting/evaluation strategy in your leadership styles. This is effective to your participants because it makes them more aware of what they’re looking to get out of an experience. And it’s helpful to you as a leader because you can address whatever needs or concerns needed, which you’ll find out by using your goals!

A tidbit of advice for goal setting- it helps the most when you write them down, so try using a worksheet similar to the one below to help organize your goals!  And you can format the worksheets to fit whatever you need!

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For those who haven’t served in the role of being a student leader or been supervised in some way by a student leader it can be hard to see why they are so important to a college campus. Compared to being mentored or supervised by someone who’s further from your age, student leaders have a much better ability to relate to other students. They are able to lend more relevant advice when it comes to school and or building relationships in college. Even something as simple as where’s a good place to eat is different coming from a collegiate leader than an older person.

Another super important part of having student leaders is for starters- college is all about the students. Student leaders can advocate to a university board about what’s important to them and other students. For collegiate leadership is all about being relatable.

And finally, in general it’s a great attribution for students to learn about leadership skills and qualities before entering the work force. Those kinds of skills can make any recent college grad more marketable.

In some cases being a student leader will also include you having to delegate work to other, similarily to a peer supervisor role. When you’re in a peer supervisor role it can be easy to find yourself talking down to your staff which is not the right thing to do because at the end of the day they are also your peers and maybe even friends.

At the end of the peer supervisor role is a good time to learn what better ways you can become a more effective leader. While this is also beneficial to your leadership skills, it can also be hard taking feedback or criticism especially from peers. When receiving feedback (mostly negative) it’s easy to put up a guard and become defensive. In my opinion the best way to handle those situations is to always listen first to what your reviewer is saying, and don’t interrupt them. Once they are finished make sure you thank them for their feedback (taking feedback can be just as hard as giving it) then you can proceed to explain why you did something a certain way, etc. Mutual understanding between the giver and the receiver makes things a lot more comfortable for both parties.

Here is more advice on ways to take criticism, practice them as soon as you get the chance.

I think it takes a strong leader (and public speaker) to inspire people to take the initiative to become a leader! I can think of the person who helped me shape the leader I want to be (shout out to Zach Mercurio) and I hope that up and coming leaders can find their inspirations too.

I couple weekends back I attended a leadership conference and met this really awesome speaker, his name is James T. Robilotta. He’s is an amazing people person with an outgoing personality and a real knack of helping build leaders! His style of public speaking is fresh, and lively. When he speaks you actually want to listen! He’s obviously passionate about what he does and of course about leadership, which is incredibly infectious. As of lately when I’m facilitating my leadership sessions I try and think about how I’m delivering my message so that my audience will thrive to reach the next level of leadership.

Since I brag about how great James is, I’ll link you all to his page so now you can see for yourself!

Click here to go to James’s website! 

In college there are so many extracurricular activities to get involved in. My College Calendar is a great site to help understand why it’s so important to get involved in extracurricular activities!

What’s really nice about all the extracurricular’s in college is that you can start off with a basic position in an organization and work your way up to a leadership role. For example, when joining a Greek organization you are able to pledge, become a new member and potentially hold roles as a new member. Leadership roles can be in a variety of different ways going back to the example of a Greek organization, you could start of being in charge of planning events for your chapter, a smaller role; or you could even become president of your chapter, which is obviously a bigger leadership role.

Another example if you’re not interested in Greek life, school clubs also have a lot of positions to offer you when leadership is necessary. Most clubs have a president, and usually a secretary or treasurer. Don’t limit yourself to exploring your leadership potential because of the club or organization, really look to see what’s out there and find something you are passionate about.

Definitely take advantage of all the clubs and organizations your school has to offer, most universities have some sort of office that has a list of all the organizations at your institution.

 

I’m going to use this post to discuss the uniqueness of being a leader within a college community. In a lot of cases you could be the same age or even younger than those who you are leading. In that case it’s important to recognize that you are not superior to them. There is a fine line between sharing information that, that person your same age or older may now know versus outright treating that person like a child.

Through my experience the best way to go about these situations is to always ask questions. It’s better to ask what may feel like a stupid question, than to make an assumption about someone potentially making them feel uncomfortable. Going along the lines of asking questions whatever the case, questions act as a good indicator in finding out what participants require from you as a leader.

Here are some tips for asking good questions!

Obviously being a leader means having to communicate with those you’re leading, and more. Therefore public speaking will be a very important tool to have when becoming a leader. Public speaking doesn’t come naturally for majority of people, but can be learned.

The first tip to being a good public speaker in a leadership role is to practice active listening. That means, not to think ahead about your next statement but instead listen carefully to whoever you are speaking too.3-1_activelistening

Another tip is to own your feelings. If you get nervous talking in front of groups of people (big or small) tell them, let them know “I’m a little nervous right now so bear with me as I stumble my way through this.” Particularly, as a student leader expressing your feelings while speaking allows others (especially if you’re talking to other students), to empathize and focus more on your words.

Those 2 tips are solely from my experience using public speaking in my leadership roles at my university.

Here is a link to a website with 10 tips for public speaking…  http://www.toastmasters.org/tips.asp