|UNDERSTANDING THE NEEDS AND CHARACTERISTICS
OF THE POST
participant of the group has certain needs and characteristics.
1. A leader should understand his or her own needs and characteristics.
2. A leader should understand the needs and characteristics of each
participant of the group. This helps the leader to deal with each person
as an individual, to treat that individual with respect, and to help
the person grow.
3. This understanding helps in planning the program and in getting things
4. This understanding creates trust and builds confidence among group
Through conversation and informal surveys of post participants, try
to .nd out:
Why they joined your post
What they expect from the posts program
What their major interests are
What their plans for the future are
KNOWING AND USING THE RESOURCES OF THE GROUP
Resources include all those things necessary to do a job. Resources
also include people, because people have knowledge and skills. Knowledge
is what a person learns through familiarity or experiencewhat
you know. Skill is the ability to use what you know. Attitude includes
the desire to do somethingmotivationand the belief that
you can do itcon.dence. When the leader uses the knowledge and
skills of group participants to get a job done, the participants gain
experience and improve skills. They also develop
a positive attitude toward using a skill.
Keep the posts program capability inventory up-todate and
use it in planning.
Understand the purpose and resources of your participating organization.
Survey the participants parents; include them in your program
Find out your post participants skills, interests, and
To improve your skills in getting information:
Pay attention and listen carefully.
Make notes and sketches.
Ask questions and repeat your understanding of what was said.
To improve your skills in giving information:
Be sure others are listening before you speak.
Speak slowly and clearly.
Draw diagrams, if needed. Ask those receiving information to
Have the listeners repeat their understanding of what was said.
Planning is an important part of everything we do in Exploring. The
following is a simple process for planning:
Consider the task and objectives. What do you want to accomplish?
Consider the resourcesequipment, knowledge, skills, and
Consider the alternatives. Brainstorm.
Reach a decision, evaluating each option.
Write the plan down and review it with the post.
Execute the plan.
Evaluate the plan.
CONTROLLING GROUP PERFORMANCE
A leader in.uences the performance of the group and individual participants
through his or her actions. Why is control needed?
A group needs control as an engine needs a throttleto keep it
from running itself into the ground. A group works together best when
everybody is headed in the same direction. If a plan is to be properly
someone must lead the effort. Control is a function that the group assigns
to the leader to get the job done.
Control happens as a result of recognizing the difference between where
the group is and where the group is going. The leader is responsible
for developing a plan to help the group get to its goal.
Setting the example is the most effective way of controlling the group.
When working with post participants,do the following:
Continually observe the group. Know what is happening and the
attitude of the group.
Make your instructions clear and pertinent.
Pitch in and help when necessary.
Quickly deal with disruption. Guide the post toward self-discipline.
Evaluating helps measure the performance of a group in getting a job
done and working together. It suggests ways in which the group can improve
its performance. There are two basic categories of evaluation questions.
After any event or activity, ask these questions:
Getting the job done
Was the job done?
Was the job done right?
Was the job done on time?
Keeping the group together
Were relationships between group participants helped or hurt?
Was participation equally distributed among group participants?
Did the group enjoy the activity?
Did the group handle con.icts well?
SETTING THE EXAMPLE
Setting the example is probably the most important leadership skill.
It is the most effective way to show others the proper way to conduct
themselves, and is even more effective than verbal communication. Without
this skill, all the other skills will be useless. One way to think about
setting the example is to imagine yourself as part of a group and think
about how you would like your leader to act.
While there are various ways to exercise leadership, the goal of Exploring
leadership is exempli.ed in a quote from the ancient Chinese philosopher,
Lao-Tzu: But of a good leader . . . When the work is done, his
aim fulfilled, they will say, We did this ourselves.
The Exploring leader wants to give post participants the skills he or
she possesses, not to use those skills in ways that keep the post weak
or dependent. He or she offers leadership opportunities to post participants
and teaches them the skills they need.
Counseling is important
To help people solve problems
To encourage or reassure
To help an Explorer reach his or her potential
Counseling can be effective when a person is
Undecidedhe or she cant make a decision
Confusedhe or she doesnt have enough information
or has too much information
Locked inhe or she doesnt know any alternatives
How do you counsel?
First, try to understand the situation. Listen carefully. Summarize.
Check the facts. Paraphrase to make sure you understand.
Second, help list as many options as possible.
Third, help list the disadvantages of the options.
Fourth, help list the advantages of the options.
Finally, let the person decide on a solution. The counselors
role is to give encouragement and information, not advice.
REPRESENTING THE GROUP
Where do you represent the post? Post leaders represent the post at
post committee meetings, Advisors meetings, of.cers meetings,
and planning conferences, and to the participating organization.
The leader represents the post in two situations:
Without consultationwhen he or she doesnt have the
opportunity to consult with post of.cers about a decision
With consultationwhen he or she can meet with post of.cers
about the issue
In some cases the leader must represent the posts decision exactly;
in other cases, he or she must use independent judgment. You will need
to solicit and analyze participants views and attempt to represent
those views within the guidelines of your post, your participating organization,
Effective teaching is a process to increase the knowledge, skills, and
attitudes of the group and its participants.
The focus is on learning, not teaching. For teaching to be effective,
learning must take place.
The steps of effective teaching include
Choosing the learning objectives
Providing a discovery experience that helps the learner understand
the need for the skill
Demonstrating or explaining the skill
Allowing the learner to practice the skill
Evaluating the process