“You’re not meant to do what is easy. You’re meant to challenge yourself.”
Sometimes being a #SAPro is difficult when your staff hits a “wall.” When I talk about a “wall,” I’m talking about crippling senioritis, doing the bare minimum, and struggling to push themselves harder. When I chose a staff of primarily seniors (which was unintentional FYI), I knew that Senioritis would be a consistent challenge. Yes, I have a staff of strong, empowered, confident, creative young women who love what they do, but let’s be serious, we’ve all been at that point during our senior year of Undergrad when we wanted to live it up, do the minimum, and just make it to graduation. Because of this, I have been consistently working to challenge my staff in new ways while coming up with a range of new activities that we can conquer together.
Here are a few that I came up with:
1. During 1:1’s last week, I challenged my staff to think of the following 2 prompts.
Prompt A: What is one way that you can build community (in your section, staff, or building) that you do not normally do? Think of a simple task or gesture. Many of my RAs talked about placing post-its with positive messages on the bathroom mirrors or inviting a student to a meeting on-campus that she would not typically attend.
Prompt B is a bit more challenging: Think of one way that you can be a leader this week (staff, section, community). Think of something concrete. A few RAs mentioned taking initiative to plan a staff event or writing letters to each staff member and posting them during on-call rounds.
2. During my first staff meeting this year, we had a conversation about the significance of staff collaboration regarding programs and bulletin boards. A few of the boards and programs last semester were becoming a bit lazy, so my leadership team of Senior RAs and I challenged the RAs to take their programs and boards a step further. Needless to say, their bulletin boards for February are gorgeous! I can’t wait to see what programs they come up with in the future.
3. I asked my RAs what “real world skills” they hoped to gain before graduating. As a Hall Director, I feel like it is my role to help prepare my ladies for the real world in whatever way I can. My staff came up with a great list of things, including Taxes/Financial Planning and cooking. I’m looking forward to planning a few of these “workshops” together. I also think this would make great staff bonding time.
I now challenge you #SAPros to consider the same. Are your staff members struggling to reach their potential? Are they finding themselves in the “bare minimum” mindset? I would love to hear what many of you have done to help re-engage and challenge your staff to grow (I also need some more ideas as the year goes on).