True Colors® Tips

Dylan Smith (University Unions), Katy Redd (Counseling and Mental Health Center), LT Robinson (Housing and Food Service) and Edna Dominguez (Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs) during a workshop in March

For many staff in the Division, summer is a season of renewal. It provides a chance to look back on the year’s accomplishments, plan for the future and work on important projects. As my team prepares to welcome our first graduate student assistant to the office, I think a lot about what we can do to make their experiences positive, productive and developmental. I believe that graduate student jobs play a key role in determining the kind of professional an individual will become. True Colors® can be a helpful tool for setting them up on the path to success.

Encourage your graduate student assistants to attend and make the most of their True Colors® session. Ask them about their colors and be sure to ask other staff in their office to share their colors. Talk to them about their strengths, joys, stressors and frustrations, then teach them how to apply True Colors® to their personal interactions with staff, students, group projects, etc. Keep this information in mind as you develop their experience to leverage their skills and help them grow as professionals, be it the projects you assign them, the students they advise or the teams in which you place them.

The first couple of months on the job are a time of transition as graduate student assistants ease into new settings, roles and office cultures. Many of them will be advising students for the first time and trying to find their voice/style in that role. True Colors® can help make the transition smoother as they learn more about themselves, the people around them and sharing a common language to discuss those dynamics. The goal is for your department or team to help your graduate student assistants become high-performing, valued members of your office staff in no time!

Dylan Smith
Senior Student Affairs Administrator
University Unions