Lesson Learned

I always knew that working in Student Affairs would provide me with continual learning opportunities; between conferences, in-staff professional development, and working with a younger population I just knew I’d be kept up to speed on the latest trends and information. I guess I failed to realize just how much I’d learn t from working with my Resident Assistants. Below are some of the lessons that I have learned so far this year… 

  1. The Importance of Your Opinion: This lesson bothers me because looking back at my experience as a student I always wanted to get feedback, mainly positive, of opinions from my supervisors. So why was I surprised to learn that my staff wants to be told that they are doing well on a continual basis? I definitely give my staff both positive and productive feedback, but it’s also important to think about how you’re praising in public if you choose to do this. You want to be intentional and make sure that you are praising everyone at some point in the semester.
  2. Being Needed:  There are definitely varying needs on my staff. Some of them want a personal relationship and others want to keep it highly professional. At times, it feels like some of my staff members really need me.  
  3. Separating Issues: Luckily, my staff loves to hang out with each other. As their supervisor, it can become challenging to separate what is a staff issue and a personal, ‘we hang out’ issue. I can only address issues that I have seen and experience. All I can do is provide them with tools on how to resolve  situations.
  4. The Sky is the Limit: This semester I have learned that my staff constantly limits themselves. For example, I continually tell them that I am available and that if they needed me all they have to do is send an email or a text and I would make time for them. They forget that even though my door is closed or I am out for a meeting, that I am always accessible to them and want to help them. 

What have you learned in your position? Have you been surprised by some of the things that you learn?

Katie LaSota

Student Affairs - the First Years

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