Choose the right people, Part 2

In my last post, I wrote about some attributes I look for when interviewing for Peer Leaders. In this post, I want to outline a few more. This article on “What’s wrong with job interviews and how to fix them“* says that you choose people like yourself, and this is definitely something that I’ve been accused (accused is the wrong word – teased about is better) of in the past.  So what do I look for?

1. Compassion: It’s critical. It’s linked to patience and empathy too. If you can’t be compassionate, patient and reasonably empathic, then it’s very hard to sit alongside the learner rather than over the learner. And sitting alongside the learner is critical in peer learning.

2. Communication: I don’t mind if leaders have English as a second, third, fourth (etc!) language, but I do need peer leaders to be understandable – to be able to respond to questions well and ask questions well. Leaders report their communication skills increase enormously in the role:

I noticed that from the past week in which I had to give two speeches in different subject, I was much better than I was before at speeches and presentations where  I felt that I was not at all uncomfortable standing in front of the crowds which I didn’t realise before!

As every week, the continual routine of leading in u:pass sessions has allowed me to improve in my communication skills. I found that this particular upass skill helped me during a recent presentation.

3. Capability: Belief that they can do the role, or belief they can learn it. Some of this can come from you, but some has to come from them. (I chose capability because it’s then 3 C’s 🙂

*BTW, I try to look out for articles of interest to the team, but this particular article was sent to me by one of the leaders! Yay for such great initiative 🙂


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About Georgina Barratt-See

Georgina manages the UTS U:PASS (UTS Peer Assisted Study Success) program, which assists students in 50 first and second year subjects with study sessions run by trained student facilitators. Georgina has 14 years experience in the Higher Education sector with interests in student leadership, mentoring, first year experience, teaching and learning.

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