Advisor Tips

Guiding Your Lambda Sigma Chapter

Effective Advisers

  • Are educators who understand group development and dynamics.
  • Are flexible and provide lots of positive reinforcement.
  • Know how to balance providing direction and allowing students autonomy.
  • Are role models who emphasize the importance of student contributions to the campus and outside community.
  • Present information and issues to students so that they can make good decisions.
  • Are approachable, visible, and closely involved with the organization.
  • Keep the group informed of trends relating to the organization’s mission.
  • Develop talent and encourage students to grow.
  • Maintain a global picture of the organization and its relationship to the whole.
  • Involve students and make clear their support and appreciation of student involvement.
  • Assist their respective associations in maintaining an accurate historical perspective.
  • Assist in insuring a smooth transition of officers.
  • Serve as stimulators for new ideas for services and programs.
  • Know that advising is not a vehicle to voice personal or professional issues and concerns.
  • Serve as “overseers” of the association’s finances.
  • Are sensitive to the recognition given out by the various regional and national associations.
  • Participate in their respective regional or national conferences.
  • Complete and submit in a timely manner all reports required of the adviser.
  • Engage the executive board in brainstorming goals for the organization. Officers should set priorities but not dictate the direction of the organization. Allow them to present their ideas to the whole organization. Invite members to participate in goal setting. It also allows them to take ownership in the group’s goals and direction.

Group Dynamics/Conflict Mediator

Be assured that managing conflict is a regular, ongoing part of advising. Effective conflict resolution is a topic that should be covered early in the year. As an adviser, one is not a parent; students should be treated with respect. Do not be the center of attention.

Educator and Trainer

Educate the group members about the mission and purpose of the organization, department and institution. Provide training for the group members, particularly executive members. Stay motivated with a new group. Training issues that appear to be “old hat” for an adviser are groundbreaking issues for the new group.

Source of Continuity

Provide the historical perspective. Let current members know how the group got where it is and provide rationale for past goals and projects. Perspective from the past allows the group access to important information it needs in order to move forward. Encourage the group to keep good records and preserve accurate files so there is a sense of history for future students.

Resource Person

Be knowledgeable of campus and community resources. A group cannot be expected to program successfully if they are not knowledgeable about speakers, food service, facility, publicity, audiovisual information, and the possibility of other competing programs sponsored on campus.