A Note on Appreciative Advising: Sometime’s It Is Not What We Say, But How We Say It
Appreciative Advising focuses on creating new ways of viewing positive or negative experiences. Many advisors may be familiar with this model but it can also be useful in others areas of Student Affairs.
When some of us think of what interactions with Advisors or other Front End staff in our college experience, we may have mixed feelings. As #SAPros, we are often on the front lines when it comes to assisting students on their educational journey. This makes our work with those students all the more crucial. First impressions are everything.
An example of this might be a time where a student has failed a course. Rather than focusing on what they did wrong that lead them to failure, we focus on what they did that was successfully in that course or others courses. This allows us to build on those skills and boost confidence. This in turn, can help shift the student’s belief that they can be successful.
The model features 5 beliefs that used when framing the way you work with students:
- The Belief That Every Student Can Be Successful
- Advisors (and Others) Can Leverage Student Strengths
- Advisors (and Others) Can Enhance the College Experience
- Students and Others Can Both Benefit From The Interaction
- Professionals Must Understand How Their Thoughts and Perspectives can Influence Their Relationship With Their Students
These five beliefs can be useful when we think about how we can best be of service to our students, for our students. By approaching every situation with the lens that EVERY student can be successful and that EVERY student has strengths, we break the mold that pigeonholes students into what their K-12 experience may have been.
The model is fairly in depth and goes further than these 5 beliefs, but these ideas are a good place to start. Using this model we can improve the mindsets of our students and also open our minds to a new way of communicating. This model can also be very effective when working with at-risk populations of students.
It’s important to remember that we play an essential and large role in student success. If we can be that cheerleader, that voice of support and helping hand that works to pull our students forward on this path, then we are indeed doing our very best work. By using this Appreciative Approach we are showing our students and ourselves the positives even in the possible failures. This can help students see the positives and feel like their goals and dreams are possible.
“A person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected.” ~ Unknown Author
For further information regarding Appreciative Advising, please refer to http://www.appreciativeadvising.net/
> BONUS <
Podcast With Anne Scheideler Sweet on Academic Advising