What Kind of Advisor Are You?

Elizabeth Wilcox, Sr. Consultant for Advising

What kind of advisor are you? What are your professional strengths, interests, goals?

In interactions with students are you especially good at demonstrating, showing, guiding, explaining, and encouraging new ideas and approaches? Are you interested in all that students are learning, doing and creating? Do you take special interest in the curriculum and in describing and explaining the structure, meaning and purpose of degree requirements?

> If so, you may have a teaching orientation to advising

Do you enjoy challenging individual potential and watching students develop over time? Are you supportive but goal-oriented in your approach? Are you good at building confidence, versatility and leadership ability? Are you interested in both personal and academic development?

> If so, you may have a coaching orientation to advising

Are you an exceptional listener? Do you work to understand individual life experiences and values? Are you especially good at supporting problem-solving and decision-making? Are you unafraid of emotional disclosure? Are you especially sensitive, caring and empathetic? Do you actively promote physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing and personal growth?

> If so, you may have a counseling orientation to advising

Do you see students as partners and collaborators? Are you interested in teamwork, sharing, networking, and formal and informal interaction? Do you enjoy giving feedback on performance? Do you like introducing students to new people and opportunities?  Do you tend to favor working with the same student over time?

> If so, you may have a mentoring approach to advising

Do you take pleasure in transmitting and upholding University policy and procedure? Do you enjoy interpreting and evaluating records and focusing on progress? Are you a wiz at transcript codes? Do you enjoy doing degree checks? Do you enjoy reviewing survey and other forms of student data? Are you good at understanding and explaining rules?

> If so, you may have an analytical approach to advising

There are many orientations to advising. See below a brief sampling of the many roles advisors play:

…adjudicator, advocate, assessor, analyst, coach, counselor, disciplinarian, enforcer, evaluator, facilitator, guide, mediator, mentor, planner, problem solver, resource, role model, teacher…

Which role are you most comfortable with? What new roles are you interested in developing? How have these strengths influenced your advising values? Want to know more about your professional strengths…see the professional development resource…Best Advisor Forward: Finding and Developing Your Advising Strengths on the side panel.