Ra leadership 101
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RA Leadership 101. “Life is tough, but it’s tougher when you’re stupid.” –John Wayne. Welcome to the RA position! Get ready for a year filled with fire alarms, duty nights, programming, meetings, etc…all the things that come to mind when we think of being an RA.

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RA Leadership 101

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Ra leadership 101

RA Leadership


Life is tough but it s tougher when you re stupid john wayne

“Life is tough, but it’s tougher when you’re stupid.” –John Wayne

  • Welcome to the RA position! Get ready for a year filled with fire alarms, duty nights, programming, meetings, etc…all the things that come to mind when we think of being an RA.

  • Welcome to the world of leadership. It carries with it many responsibilities and things you should consider.

Ra leadership 1011

RA Leadership 101

  • In this PowerPoint, you will learn the following…

    • Qualities of a Sound Leader

    • Stages of Group Development

    • Role Modeling & Setting a Positive Tone

    • Problem Solving Process

    • Collaboration & Delegation

    • How to be a Good Follower

    • Running Effective Meetings

Ra leadership 101

“Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion; you must set yourself on fire first.” –Reggie Leach

  • Being a leader is hard work! We prepare you the best we can throughout training. Come opening day, its your time to put your knowledge to the test!

  • We cannot prepare you for EVERY scenario, but you can remember the basics and go from there.

  • You have to be ready to work and pull your weight on staff, for your residents, and for the department!

Qualities of a sound leader

Qualities of a Sound Leader

  • Stability and maturity. Good leaders can tolerate frustration and stress well.

  • Enthusiasm. Leaders can be energetic, optimistic, and generally uninhibited.

  • Good communication skills. A good leader will send strong, sincere, and unambiguous messages.

  • The ability to empower others. A good leader is supportive of his/her team.

Qualities of a sound leader1

Qualities of a Sound Leader

  • Being a team builder and player. A good leader involves everyone in the decision- making process, provides encouragement, and knows when to sit back and let others lead.

  • Being productive. An efficient and determined leader gets things done.

  • Caring and acting with compassion.

  • Setting a good example. Have confidence, respect others, and act responsibly.

Ra leadership 101

“As you climb the ladder of success, check occasionally to make sure it is leaning against the right wall.” -- Unknown

Leadership is Not…

  • Going at it alone

  • Having the loudest voice in the room

  • Using power simply because you can

  • Never delegating to others

  • Taking all the credit

Questions to consider

Questions to Consider…

  • Do I really know the people on my floor?

  • Do I set a good example?

  • Do I inspire and help people to reach their goals?

  • Am I culturally aware and do I value the differences in people?

  • Do I keep my word?

Questions to consider1

Questions to Consider…

  • Am I a good listener?

  • Am I enthusiastic?

  • Do I recognize and celebrate good work/participation?

  • Do I know when and how to say “no”?

  • Do I have passion and a purpose?

  • Do I keep an eye out for other potential leaders?

Go fish

Go Fish!

  • It is important for you to remember that you are a RA and representative of the University and Residence Life.

  • Whether you are on-campus, at Applebees, in St. Louis, or on the moon you are ALWAYS a RA. You never know who will see you.

  • We live in a fishbowl. Residents forget sometimes that you are a peer, but they NEVER forget that you are their RA.

Luck is what you have left over after you give 100 langston coleman

“Luck is what you have left over after you give 100%.” –Langston Coleman

  • You may think luck has something to do with being an effective leader. Take a look at the following…

    • autistic basketball player (Jason McElwain)

      • to open hyperlink, place mouse cursor over link, right click and click on “open hyperlink)

Jason mcelwain

Jason McElwain

  • Jason was not just a Basketball manager.

  • He wasn’t just “Hot as a pistol”.

  • Jason was a motivator. He helped motivate his team to victories. Helped them recover their spirits from losses.

  • Jason was a leader for his team. Number 52 was dedicated and invested in his team. He put in 4 years for 4 minutes.

  • Look at his team and the community. His 4 minutes of “catching fire” was years of motivation for all!

Stages of group development

Stages of Group Development

Communities develop in steps, and there are effective leadership strategies for this development.

To help develop your floor, consider the stages of group development on the following slides.

Stages of group development1

Stages of Group Development


    • Community members learn about one another. They often feel anxious, excited, and dependent upon each other.

    • Strategies to help this stage…

      • Add structure

      • Explore differences

      • Establish community standards

Stages of group development2

Stages of Group Development


    • Community members become more comfortable with each other. They begin to engage in arguments, programs, etc. True characteristics of individuals start to come out.

    • Strategies to help with this stage…

      • Encourage and facilitate dialogue

      • Provide support

      • Pay attention to emerging leaders

Stages of group development3

Stages of Group Development


    • Community members establish rules; address types of communication; residents are open to feedback, acceptance, and comfort.

    • Strategies that can help with this stage…

      • Empower residents

      • Create challenges for residents

      • Recognize and reward positive contributors

Stages of group development4

Stages of Group Development


    • If things have gone well, residents have achieved harmony and feel comfortable with each other.

    • Strategies to help with this stage…

      • Celebrate accomplishments

      • Suggest new goals

      • Develop assessment processes to see how the floor is doing as a team

Stages of group development5

Stages of Group Development


    • Residents will come to this stage at the end of the semester/year. The time as a community comes to an end. Residents feel solidarity and pride.

    • Strategies to help with this stage…

      • Engage in reflection on the time together

      • Suggest closure initiatives

Leadership skills

Leadership Skills

  • Now that you know how groups are formed, there are several skills that you need as a RA.

  • The next few slides will cover…

    • Role Modeling

    • Problem Solving

    • Collaboration & Delegation

    • Being a Good Follower

    • Running an Effective Meeting

Character is doing the right thing when nobody is looking j c watts

“Character is doing the right thing when nobody is looking.” – J.C. Watts

Role Modeling

  • Follow your own expectations and hold true to your beliefs and values.

  • Your residents will lose respect for you quickly if you have a “Do as I say, not as I do” mentality.

  • Sometimes it is necessary for you to take a step back and breathe.

Role modeling continued

Role Modeling Continued…

  • Residents are watching you to determine what the college community expects and accepts.

  • Taking on the role of the RA means you have agreed to be a role model and represent the school well.

Tips to role modeling

Tips to Role Modeling

  • Remember that impressions are formed from the whole package – what they hear, see, and experience.

  • It’s okay to say, “I don’t know” – but follow up once you find the answer!

  • Be active, available and accessible – don’t be afraid of the closed door!

  • Check your “involvement identity” at the door – Remember to represent ALL types of involvement on campus.

Tips to role modeling continued

Tips to Role Modeling continued…

  • Mind your manners!

  • Consider how appropriate your messages are – When you engage in questionable behavior, you not only impact your reputation, but that of the Res Life staff.

  • Be respectful

  • Communicate loyalty

Sometimes the hardest decision to make is the right thing to do natashah yanny

“Sometimes the hardest decision to make is the right thing to do.”– NatashahYanny

RA’s are called on to help facilitate and foster a positive floor community

You are there to make relationships and friendships.

You are there to enforce policies. You make the tough decisions and have the tough conversations.

It’s not an easy part of the job when you “write someone up” but it is necessary to hold your residents accountable for their actions and step in when necessary.

Setting a positive tone

Setting a Positive Tone

  • It’s natural to want to be the “nice RA”. Here are some tips to avoid the “nice RA” trap.

    • Give Them the Info They Need – share policies, resources, etc.

    • Put the Ownership on Them – let residents know that you trust them from the beginning; it’s up to them to keep your trust.

    • Being Firm at First – don’t “let someone off” because they didn’t know. Be firm, educate them, and follow through!

Problem solving

Problem Solving

  • Problems are going to arise – big and small.

  • Don’t run…and don’t hide! Just trust that you have the resources to resolve anything that comes your way!

  • Don’t focus on one “right” way to resolve a problem. There are many different options, depending on the situation!

Problem solving process

Problem Solving Process

  • Assess the situation – what action is needed?

  • Identify the problem – What is the ACTUAL problem?

  • Define the goal – What is going to be done about the problem?

  • Analyze the forces – collect, organize, and analyze all info to create a plan for change.

Problem solving process1

Problem Solving Process

  • Generate alternative strategies

  • Select the best strategy

  • Forecast potential problems

  • Test the strategy

  • Write a work plan

  • Implement and evaluate the plan – remember to be patient!

Ra leadership 101

“There are things I can’t force. I must adjust. There are times when the greatest change needed is a change of my viewpoint.”—Denis Diderot

  • It is important to set goals for yourself in the RA position, but keep them realistic.

  • Remember that you need to be flexible. Some things may not work and you may need to adjust your way of doing something to meet the needs of your residents.

  • You can’t force students to make the “right” decision. College is about choices, and some students will make choices we don’t understand or agree with, but that is their decision!



  • Collaboration helps us to accomplish more, get buy-in and support from other individuals, build relationships, reach our goals, and have fun in the process!

  • It’s your responsibility as a leader!

Tips for effective collaboration

Tips for Effective Collaboration

  • Discuss expectations up front

  • Respect everyone involved and value what they bring to the table

  • Be flexible and willing to try new things

  • Share the work and credit

  • Listen and be open to change

  • Show appreciation



  • Delegation is the assignment of authority and responsibility to another person to carry out specific activities.

  • However, the person who delegated the work remains accountable for the outcome of the delegated work.

Tips for effective delegating

Tips for Effective Delegating

  • Ask for volunteers

  • Match tasks with individual skills and interests

  • Give clear direction

  • Set dates for status reports

  • Provide support

  • Don’t micro-manage

  • Trust others

Effective leaders as good followers

Effective Leaders As Good FOllowers

  • Types of Followers:

    • Sheep - Completely passive

    • “Yes” – Only do what they are told

    • Alienated – May use their energy to fight against group goals

    • Pragmatic – Not willing to take risks

    • Exemplary – Independent, responsible, & valuable to the team

Effective leaders as good followers1

Effective Leaders as Good Followers

  • Rules for effective following

    • Listen to others

    • Show people how to resolve their own conflicts

    • Point the way – but don’t force direction

    • Look for, and develop, the connections that exist between group members.

Effective leaders encourage

Effective Leaders Encourage

  • Tap into new leaders by following these tips…

    • Give emerging leaders creative and challenging assignments

    • Encourage initiative and creativity

    • Offer honest feedback

    • Reward and celebrate success

    • Empower with trust, delegation & recognition

Running effective meetings

Running Effective Meetings

  • With Move In Day brings first floor meetings!

  • It is important for you to work on your facilitation skills early on to run an effective meeting

  • Remember to stay organized – residents pay attention! If you are unorganized, they will be less likely to follow the meeting.

Tips to running effective meetings

Tips to Running Effective Meetings

  • Clarify the purpose of the meeting

  • Prepare an agenda!

  • Begin your meeting on time

  • Include an opportunity for residents to share points of view

  • Encourage attentive listening skills

Tips to running effective meetings1

Tips to Running Effective Meetings

  • Encourage residents to be part of the decision making process

  • The meeting typically ends with a summary of discussion, key points, etc.

  • Follow up with individuals who were not at the meeting

The key is not to prioritize what s on your schedule but to schedule your priorities steven covey

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” –Steven Covey

  • You are a person first, student second, RA third…but what comes next.

  • If you aren’t putting forth an effort to put your residents as a priority, then why are you here?

  • There are many more rewards from the RA position than the free room and board!

  • Plus, if you don’t put in the time to get to know and respect your residents, why should they want to know you, attend your programs or respect you?

What it means to be a ra

What it means to be a RA

“ Success is this: To laugh often and love much, To win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children, To earn the approbation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of friends, To appreciate beauty, to find the best in everything, To give of one’s self, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition, To have played and laughed with enthusiasm and to have sung with exultation, To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.”

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson (Attributed)

Congrats this module is completed

Congrats! This module is completed!

Don’t forget to post your responses to the Leadership 101 Module forum online!

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