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Seton Hall University
An advisor talking with students.

Advising Styles

What kind of advisor are you?

While it is important to adjust your advising style based on the student organization's needs, we encourage you to consider what type of advisor you are interested in becoming or rather, which advising style(s) is best suited for the organization:

  • Developmental- the advisor provides guidance in decision making and provides support for opportunities for organizational or individual growth. Programmatic- the advisor focuses on skill development and event planning support.
  • Administrative- the advisor focuses on organizational functions regarding events, budgets, and policies.
  • Delegator- typically used with groups with a high level of readiness functioning groups;the advisor empowers students to make their own decisions and delegate accordingly.
  • Coach- the advisor directs and closely supervises all decision making while explaining processes, soliciting suggestions, and supporting progress. This style is typically successful with groups who have a few leadership team members with a high level of readiness who will need this kind of support to motivate members.
  • Supporter- the advisor facilitates and supports efforts made toward accomplishment. The advisor shares decision making responsibility with group members. Often times, this style is most successful with groups that are just starting to understand concepts for success.
  • Director- the advisor provides detailed instructions and closely supervises the group in order to accomplish tasks. Newly formed organizations are typically in need of this type of advising. 

Advising styles are expected to become fluid or change based on the group's readiness.

Resource: Adapted from Pennsylvania State University Advisor Guidebook.

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