Advisor Tips

20 Tips for Advisors to Increase Organizational Productivity:

  1. Know what the students expect of you as an advisor.
  2. Let the group and individual members know what you expect of them.
  3. Express a sincere interest in the group and its mission. Stress the importance of each individual’s contribution to the whole.
  4. Assist the group in setting realistic, attainable goals. Ensure beginning success as much as possible, but allow the responsibility and implementation of events to lie primarily with the organization.
  5. Have the goals or objectives of the group firmly in mind. Know the purposes of the group and know what things will need to be accomplished to meet the goals.
  6. Assist the group in achieving its goals. Understand why people become involved. Learn strengths and emphasize them. Help the group learn through involvement by providing opportunities.
  7. Know and understand the students with whom you are working. Different groups require different approaches.
  8. Assist the group in determining the needs of the people the group is serving.
  9. Express a sincere interest in each member. Encourage everyone to be responsible.
  10. Assist the members in understanding the group’s dynamics and human interaction. Recognize that at times the process is more important than the content.
  11. Realize the importance of the peer group and its effect on each member’s participation or lack thereof communicate that each individual’s efforts are needed and appreciated.
  12. Assist the group in developing a system by which they can evaluate their progress. Balance task orientation with social needs of members.
  13. Use a reward system and recognition system for work well done.
  14. Develop a style that balances active and passive group membership.
  15. Be aware of the various roles that you will have: clarifier, consultant, counselor, educator, facilitator, friend, information source, mentor, and role model.
  16. Do not allow yourself to be placed in the position of chairperson.
  17. Be aware of institutional power structure—both formal and informal. Discuss institutional developments and policies with members.
  18. Provide continuity for the group from semester to semester (not mandatory but encouraged).
  19. Challenge the group to grow and develop. Encourage independent thinking and decision-making.
  20. Be creative and innovative. Keep a sense of humor!

(Adapted from M.J. Michael) Office of Student Leadership Development Programs at East Carolina University