- Is Parliamentary Procedure Ruining Your Organization?
- The Five People to Train in Student Leadership Heaven
- 4 groups that should get student leadership training other than the SGA
- When should I train my student leaders?
- Get a DEFINING STATEMENT and boost your recruiting efforts
- Use the NO CHAIRS method for campus club recruiting
- The 5 Rs of club membership retention
- 5 Things to do Once You’re Elected to Student Leadership
- Making smooth transitions in leadership
- 14 Elements for a great club meeting
- Consider rotating your meeting format to keep members engaged
- Using stories and cheap theatrics at your club meetings
- 3 Ways to pep up your campus club meetings
- Managing expectations for your club or organization
- Overcoming challenges to club member involvement
- 3 things to do if your club officers are fighting
- Meeting Icebreaker: The Alphabet Game
- Meeting Icebreaker: Unusual Things in common
- Meeting Icebreaker: The Clap Down
- Meeting Icebreaker: Tummy HA HA
- Meeting Icebreaker: All My Friends and Neighbors
- Meeting Icebreaker: Rain
That’s a question I get a lot. And the answer is that it varies from school to school, what stage of leadership your student leaders are at and what you are trying to accomplish. Since I can’t cover every conceivable situation in this blog post I’ll give you some general guidelines about timing your training for your student leaders.
I’ll also suggest that you read the posts “The Five People to Train in Student Leadership Heaven” and “4 groups that should get student leadership training other than the SGA.” They’ll help you get a handle on ‘who’ should trained and this post will focus more on the ‘when.’
I’ll start to answer this question based on the academic school year – basically September through May.
First Semester Leadership Training
The first cycle for training student leaders is during the month of August. A lot of schools like to get a jump on training their leaders by holding training sessions and retreats either right before the start of the year or right at the start. This works especially well if your student leaders are involved in New Student Orientation in some way or if getting your clubs and organizations started immediately is important on your campus. How smoothly an organization runs has a lot to do with the success of the organization so making sure that your leaders know how to run better organizations is important from the start.
Second best to training your leaders before the year even starts is to get everybody up to speed right at the beginning of the year. Getting student involved before the year even starts can be difficult so I find myself very busy during September and October. Again, these are critical months for getting all of your campus clubs and organizations cranking at full efficiency from the start. If your clubs are operating from the beginning of the year, too many things can go wrong by the time your reach November and December. The bottom line is, August, September and October are prime student leadership training months.
Second Semester Leadership Training
With that being said, I find that January and February are also prime training months. Why? A lot of schools have a beginning of the second semester leadership program or conference – or they kick of a leadership series. They find that it’s an especially good time to train freshman and first year leaders. During the first semester those new leaders have had a chance to get their feet wet – both at school in general and in their student leadership roles. Now they’re ready to dig in deeper as student leaders and make it all work for both them and their organizations. As a more fun aside, because most of the country is deep into winter during January and February a lot of ski weekends and retreats are held. Student will often ski all day and have leadership training at night. I’ll have to admit, these are great fun for me too!
The Early Bird Gets The Worm
Finally there’s the student leadership training that happens later in the spring – the March and April timeframe. Going back to the beginning of this post where some schools train their student leaders in August before the semester starts, this spring training is for the real early birds. It occurs immediately following the spring student officer elections. Even though these newly elected officers won’t take office until the fall semester, there’s no better time to train them. During this time I’ve helped many elected leaders plan recruitment drives, put next year’s calendar together and set their club or organization’s vision for the coming year. This training often even occurs into the summer months.
All-in-all there really is no bad time to train your student leaders, but it is important that they do get trained – and the sooner the better. If you can get them trained before they make all of the mistakes, they are less likely to get discouraged and your campus and students will benefit because they’ll learn to run better organizations.
Leadership consists of a set of skills, methodologies and ideas that can be taught.
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