I’m a Weight Watchers Leader!!
I’ve now led my third meeting as a legit leader (and not a trainee) and feel like I am getting more comfortable and confident each time. The meeting I’m working is actually one that I led my second time ever leading a meeting as a trainee, which you can read all about here. It’s super early in the morning (7:45am – yikes!) but I get pretty excited about it so haven’t had a hard time waking up yet, which is a small miracle.
I’m still a little awkward in front of the group, and sometimes my mind goes completely blank while I’m up there even though I have a good idea how I want the meeting to go from the start. I think that will get easier with time, but one thing I’ve started doing that is helping is not over thinking it. The topics are generally pretty self explanatory for someone like me who knows the program inside and out, and while there are loose guidelines of how the meeting can go, it’s largely pulled along by what the members have to say.
One thing that a lot of people might not know is that as a Leader, you are only supposed to talk about 1/4 of the time and are much more a facilitator than a lecturer. Most of the meeting should be filled with members sharing ideas with each other and the Leader asking thought provoking questions and pushing the conversation along as needed. One of the reasons for this is that a lot of people assume that the Leader has “figured it out” (which clearly I have not) so it’s more beneficial for many of them to get ideas from other members who are in the same boat.
So though I definitely feel like I am getting better, more comfortable, and less awkward as the meetings go on, there are certainly several areas for improvement.
To name a few:
Figure out what to do with my hands! One of the things I’ve gotten better about is moving around the room a little bit so that I’m not standing glued to one spot on the floor. That said, I always awkwardly hold my hands in front of my body and though I’m completely conscious of it, I don’t know what to do with them to make me look more natural. I think I need to practice in front of a mirror!
Get more comfortable with silence. Since the goal is to have the members talk for most of the time, it’s important that I leave enough time for members to process and think about the questions I ask. While 8 seconds sounds like it would go by in the blink of an eye, when you’re in front of a room of people with all eyes on you, it can sometimes feel like an eternity.
Get more comfortable/confident in general. I think this one will only come with time and I’ve already seen a big improvement in myself since my first meeting, but I definitely need to keep working on it. I am very confident in social situations/in real life, so it still baffles me a little bit that I get so self conscious in front of the group, but I am confident this will improve with each meeting I lead.
Do you have any questions about being a leader that you’re curious about? If you are/were a WW-er at any point in time, what were some of the characteristics of your favorite leader(s)?