Becoming an Ultimate Grand Supreme Advisor


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Chris Connelly

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Becoming an Ultimate Grand Supreme Advisor

  1. 1. Chris Connelly, M.Ed.The University of Texas at AustinCNS First-Year Advising Center
  2. 2. Purpose of this workshop Entertain you Inform you Help you make new connections
  3. 3. Background What is Toddlers & Tiaras? What is “Ultimate Grand Supreme?”  Highest honor
  4. 4. Relating T & T to our work Glitz Music/dancing Respect the culture Temper tantrums Crying Hyper-Parenting Social comparison Being judged/criticized Encouragement Everybody‟s a winner
  5. 5. What is glitz? Glamour pageants Opposite of natural pageants Make-up Fake eyelashes/hair/ teeth (flippers) Fancy dresses (rhinestones) Spray tans
  6. 6. Adding glitz to our work Personal  Appearance  Office decorations/lighting ○ Sit in student‟s seat  Materials/resources you use ○ Handouts/websites ○ Social media Your college center  Reading materials/snacks  Themes  Reception staff – uniform, theme
  7. 7. Music/dancing Role in T & T Benefits of music:  “Music has the power to energize, soothe, change emotional outlook, boost immunity, reduce pain, speed recovery, lower blood pressure, improve focus and IQ as well as aid weight loss.” (Ambroziak, 2003) Benefits of dance:  Confidence, self-esteem, creative expression, imagination, intellectual stimulation, fitness, coordination. (Dascomb, 2011)
  8. 8. Music/dance in your office Playing softly in background iTunes, Pandora, headphones Watching music videos (during lunch of course) Dance by yourself (shades down/in bathroom) or with coworkers (with their permission) Use it to pump self up before tough student, meeting, presentation, evaluation, e tc. Organize flash mob
  9. 9. Respect the culture In T & T  One wouldn‟t dress in glitz for natural pageant or wear a swimsuit for crowning. In our work with students  Cultural sensitivity: “… capacity to appropriately respond to the attitudes, feelings, circumstances of clientsand others of a differentethnic, racial, religious, or cultural heritage.”(Sperry, 2010)
  10. 10. Respect the culture Advising:  Work from the student‟s belief system  Don‟t assume that culture is a factor for the student (it may not be)  Don‟t act like you know everything about that culture (student is the expert)  Students from same culture may not have the same beliefs (Sperry, 2010)  Examples: female advisor/second opinion, not expressing problems or seeking help, medication, strong attachment to family (obligations may be more important than school), has to choose specific major
  11. 11. Temper tantrums Common in T & T In our work with students “Events do not make a person angry, but the interpretation of these provoke anger” (Bhave & Saini, 2009) Getting through a temper tantrum:  Be sensitive and patient  Listen to student‟s concerns; let student voice him/herself  Set appropriate limits  May need “time out” (Cohen, 2011)
  12. 12. Anger management techniques  Admit anger (pay attention to body language/facial expressions)  Analyze/identify source of anger  Address the emotions behind the anger  Is anger justified or reasonable? (Bhave & Saini, 2009)  Apply this info when students/coworkers anger you.
  13. 13. Crying Happens often in T & T Your reactions to crying? Obviously, people treat it differently  Gusher  Suppressor  Cultural differences  Social media instead of face-to-face Benefits of emotional sharing (not only crying):  Recognition and validation of suffering  Development of pro-social behaviors (i.e. social support) (Schwarzer & Frensch, 2010)
  14. 14. My student is crying … what do I do?  Don‟t be afraid to acknowledge it (ex: “Your eyes got watery when I asked about your family.”)  Not necessarily a bad thing  Let the student cry if time permits (have tissues available)  Tell them it‟s okay to cry (many will apologize)  LISTEN (don‟t try to “fix” it)  Empathize (“I would be sad, too”)  Outlets/relief (campus resources & personal outlets)  Do your best - being genuine goes a long way.
  15. 15. Hyper-Parenting Who/what are they?  Pageant parents  Helicopter parents  Blackhawk parents – aggressive attack units that will do whatever it takes to ensure a favorable position for their child.  Lawnmower parents – smooth down and mow over obstacles in child‟s path  Curling parents (Scandinavia) – sweeping away everything that gets in the way of their child  Others: the Bodyguard, the Consumer Advocate, the White Knight, the Rescuer, the Banker, the Agent, the Safety Expert. (
  16. 16. Why are some parents overinvolved? Millennial generation - born after 1982 Most child-centric time in our history "They have been the most protected and programmed children ever -- car seats and safety helmets, play groups and soccer leagues, cellphones and e-mail. The parents of this generation are used to close and constant contact with their children and vice versa.” (Strauss, 2006) Child is a reflection of the parents‟ abilities/worthiness ( Competition among parents
  17. 17. If overprotective parents abruptly “sever the umbilical cord” … Students may feel lost and not know how to proceed, including not knowing how to make life choices May be thrilled with newfound freedom and act out Letting go gradually may be best (
  18. 18. Putting parents in perspective Keep in mind:  College advisors have it easy  Most are well intentioned  What if it was your kid?  Big investment  They know their children better than we do Ways to help “turn off the lawnmower”:  FERPA  Advisor-parent-student meeting  Summer orientation (skits, scenarios, expectations)  Parental policy/guidelines/tips  Address their concerns/fears  Encourage student through actions/your example/role plays (Strauss, 2006)
  19. 19. Social comparison Obvious in T&T  Winners  Various categories (beauty, talent, swimsuit, smile, etc.) How does it relate to college students?  Class average  Friends‟ performance  Family/siblings  Choosing: ○ Classes/number of hours ○ Instructors ○ Majors/careers ○ Extracurriculars How does it relate to us?  Promotions  Job titles  Work responsibilities  Office dynamics  Family/friends (Elliot, 2005)
  20. 20. Taking a Strength-Based Approach a.k.a. Solution-Focused Approach:  “… explores current resources and future hopes rather than present problems and past causes …” (Iveson, 2002)  “Its not about whats missing and causes woe, but whats present and can lead to happiness” (  In what areas/ways does the student (or you) excel?  Don‟t want to ignore problems, but shift focus to self and what is being done to lead person to goal  Campus/peer resources
  21. 21. Being judged/criticized Obvious in T&T – they know what they‟re getting into. Not as obvious in college  Do students know what they‟re getting into?  Do we?
  22. 22. Judging students In what ways are students judged? Who judges them?  Competition from other students  Instructor‟s (perceived) opinion of them  Advisor‟s (perceived) opinion of them  Familial/cultural pressures
  23. 23. Judging advisors In what ways are advisors judged? Who judges them?  Co-workers‟ opinions  Supervisor‟s opinion  Students‟ opinions/feedback ○ Spring 08: “It would have been better to have more accurate suggestions other than „up to you.‟” ○ Fall 09: “Just pointed to websites I had already seen, awkward to talk to. Not very polite, needs work on communication skills.”  Judged before school begins
  24. 24. Dealing with criticism “When we are praised and appreciated, we feel good about it. By the same token, it is not unusual for us to feel a bit upset, annoyed, irritated, hurt or angry for being criticized, rightly or wrongly. These feelings are both normal and appropriate.” (Lam, 2008)
  25. 25. Dealing with criticism Things to keep in mind:  Criticism is a fact of life and is unavoidable.  Criticism is not an indication of one‟s self worth.  The benefits of being criticized far outweigh the costs in terms of personal and professional development and growth.  Refusing to accept it as a fact of life is a case of wasting emotional energy and can damage emotional and mental health.  We criticize other people; there is no logical reason why they can‟t criticize us. (Lam, 2008)
  26. 26. Ways to help students … and yourself Look at situation from the judge‟s point of view (any basis for criticism?) Compare criticism to other things to gain sense of perspective Address the feelings that result from the criticism Remember - We can‟t please everyone (Lam, 2008)
  27. 27. Encouragement T&T – parents behind judges Why is encouragement important?  Social support (don‟t feel as alone)  Gives us strength  Makes us feel valued  Where would you be today if you hadn‟t been encouraged at some point in your life?
  28. 28. Ways to encourage our students Touch (w/caution) Look/smile Positive words (examples help) Follow up Let them be themselves
  29. 29. Everybody‟s a winner T & T - trophies, sashes, tiaras (various categories) Make each of your students feel like a winner:  Greet them personally w/a smile  Don‟t keep them waiting (or explain yourself if you do)  LISTEN! (Stop talking, don‟t interrupt)  Don‟t rush  Eye contact (turn away from computer)  Open posture  Follow up when appropriate (email, phone call)  Advising notes (personal references)  Prizes (first 10 ppl to respond to FB post; 100th student to our office today, etc.)
  30. 30. Why are your interactions with students important?“Most (college students) begin with acombination ofenthusiasm, uncertainty, and a paradoxicaldesire to be unique and to fit in. Withoutstrong coping skills to face these internaland external pressures, todays collegestudents are walking combustibles, andthe competitive college environment isoften the igniting match.” (Kadison & DiGeronimo, 2004)
  31. 31. Conclusion Apply the info given today and you‟ll be on your way to becoming an “Ultimate Grand Supreme” Advisor! Questions/comments? Thank you for your attention and participation!
  32. 32. Works Cited Ambroziak, P. (2003, September/October). Tune in the Use of Music to Improve Health and Performance. American Fitness, 21(5), 29-31. Are You an Overly Involved Parent? [Interview with Dr. Alexandra Barzvi, Clinical Director of the Anxiety and Mood Disorders Institute at the NYU Child Study Center]. (n.d.). Retrieved February 3, 2012, from website: Bhave, S. Y., & Saini, S. (2009). Anger Management (p. 112). Birgitte. (n.d.). Helicopter Parents and Overprotective Parents: The Truth and Sharp Essence of the Modern Phenomenon of Overparenting [Positive-]. Retrieved December 16, 2011, from http:// Cohen, L. J. (2011). The Handy Psychology Answer Book. Retrieved from http:// Dascomb, A., RDE. (n.d.). The Benefits of Dance [Informational chart]. Retrieved December 16, 2011, from Iveson, C. (2002). Solution-focused brief therapy. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, 8, 149-156. Retrieved from 8/2/149.full MORE 
  33. 33. Works Cited Kadison, R., & DiGeronimo, T. F. (2004). College of the Overwhelmed: The Campus Mental Health Crisis and What to Do About It (p. 36). Lam, D. C. (2008). Cognitive Behaviour Therapy: A Practical Guide to Helping People Take Control. Schrock, K. (2009, July/August). Why Music Moves Us. Scientific American Mind, 20(4), 32-37. Schwarzer, R., & Frensch, P. A. (2010). Personality, Human Development, and Culture (Vol. 2). Shoenaker, T. (2011). Introduction. In R. J. Huber, J. Street, & S. Lose (Trans.), Encouragement Makes Good Things Happen. Solution Focused Therapy. (n.d.). Retrieved December 13, 2011, from http:// Sperry, L. (2010). Core Competencies in Counseling and Psychotherapy: Becoming a Highly Competent and Effective Therapist (p. 197). Strauss, V. (2006, March 21). Putting Parents In Their Place: Outside Class. Washington Post, p. A8. Retrieved from wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/20/AR2006032001167.html Wheeler, L., & Suls, J. (2005). Chapter 30: Social Comparision and Self- Evaluations of Competence. In A. J. Elliot & C. S. Dweck (Eds.), Hanbook of Competence and Motivation (p. 566). Retrieved from http://
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