When you’re a leader, you may be approached by and put in situations that you didn’t prepare yourself for.
When facing these situations, it’s easy to panic or get upset about it, but that won’t solve any of your problems. The best thing you can do in any situation is to think rationally and make compromises.
So someone comes to you and blames you and your club for something you didn’t know about. What do you do? You may have the urge to get angry and annoyed, blame someone else, and storm out of the room. RESIST.
The following steps are some suggestions for handling surprises:
Take responsibility for what may have been the fault of your club, even if you are not personally responsible for it.
Apologize for the confusion/disorganization/mistake/etc.
Rationally think about what options you have to fix the problem. Think about what is best for EVERYONE involved, not just for your side.
Discuss options with the opposing side of the conflict. What are they looking for in a resolution? What kind of compromise is okay with them?
Decide on a compromise and follow through.
Make a note to yourself and your officers of what happened and why so that it can be avoided in the future.
¨ The Question: When asked a question you’re not prepared to answer, it can be awkward. Be honest about what you know and offer to get back to the person who asked. You’re knowledgeable so, utilize your resources and refer them. Take responsibility and ensure you’re sending them to the right place.
¨ Feeling Pressured: If you’re asked to do something you may feel pressured, especially if asked by an administrator or in front of someone. Say you’ll get back to them. Later you can talk It over one-on-one, get more information, and agree to do it or gracefully decline.
¨ Programming Saves: Another on the spot moment is when there’s a delay in an event, last-minute change or cancellation. Filling a few minutes may seem feasible. But what happens if the presenter/performer cancels or the equipment’s absent or not working and you need to cover the whole event? It can be a challenging and daunting task. Depending on the topic or activity, there may be a way to save the day:
¨ Use what you have
¨ Utilize resources
¨ Unearth hidden talent
¨ Always have a backup plan
From PaperClip Communications, Inc.
This semester you’ve learned about how to be a servant leader. If you’ve followed these tips you should be seeing improvement in the communication and quality of work coming from your club or organization.
Servant-leadership is characterized by the belief that development, particularly leadership development, is an on-going, life-long learning process. Skills such as empathy, stewardship, and self-awareness can be hard to learn, but are essential to being an effective leader. Characteristics such as listening, persuasions, conceptualization, foresight, commitment to the growth of others, and community building are all learnable skills, and servant-leaders should continue to develop these.
We encourage you to reflect and thoughtfully assess the degree to which you have each of these skills, and try to strengthen them as you feel necessary. Just as in exercise, working on parts of yourself that may have been dormant for a while will feel weird at first, but in time you will grow into a strong and confident leader.
Servant leadership works because of the specific practices of servant-leaders, practices that have been shared with you this semester, which can help you become a more effective leader and get positive results from those you lead. The key is paying attention to people; helping them to develop and grow, and looking ahead so that you and your colleagues will be able to continue serve others in years to come. Keep up the good work- your personal growth will take you on the journey to being a great servant leader.