Oftentimes, we want to evaluate our student leadership program based on what is not working. While this can be helpful, I think from time to time we need to look at what is working. So, if we are going to evaluate our program on what is working, what do we need to look for? I have come up with five signs your program is firing on all cylinders:
1. Peer-to-peer evaluation
Students are challenging other students to step up and make a difference. They are confronting each other on laziness, lack of focus, and other performance and character issues.
2. Healthy disagreement
Low-performing teams look to the first solutions in order to avoid conflict. These teams don’t know how to make good decisions. Group consensus is not formed easily. Good teams wrestle with different solutions in order to reach the best solution.
3. Equal value of projects and people
Most student leadership teams focus on a project. They work as quickly as possible to finish the task, leaving out quiet team members and anyone who doesn’t want to push to the front. These types of teams leave hurt team members in their wake. Healthy teams show tons of team care and wait to make sure everyone is on board before moving forward with a project.
4. Balance between skills and character
Great teams realize that character is just as important as getting the job done. Healthy teams emphasize character for their members and followers. Great teams have students holding other students accountable.
5. No rescuing adults
Healthy student leadership teams have adults that facilitate, mentor and challenge. Unhealthy teams have adults who are worried about failure, so they rescue the team every time they think they have made the wrong decisions. These adults leave students feeling defeated and wondering what leadership is all about.