College students can sometimes get a bad rap for being flakey. Although I understand how leaders can have this perception, I’ve actually written about how this is often not the case when we look a little deeper into their search for identity and belonging (for more on that, see the following two books: Worlds Apart or College Ministry 101). But, on the other hand, college students, like all of us from time to time, can certainly get to the point where they are so over committed that they don’t follow through.
The trick is to know the difference between a flakey person and a someone who is just over committed. It’s a critical distinction because we would approach each issue entirely differently.
Here are 5 signs that students might not be as flakey as they are just over committed:
(1) They’re actually apologetic about being late.
(2) They always seem stressed or rushed.
(3) They can never seem to remember what you talked about last time you met.
(4) They talk about what they “have” to do way more than what they “want” to do.
(5) They are usually tired.
I’ve found the following to be beneficial when working with over committed people:
- Be an e-brake. Literally ask them to stop and take a deep breathe.
- Be a listener. Ask them how they are really doing and don’t give advice unless they specifically ask for it.
- Pray for them. After listening, just ask if you can pray for them. Pray for peace, wisdom with time management and focus on what truly matters.
We can often encourage people more by just being present and supportive than we can by giving a bunch of unsolicited advice.
Chuck / @chuckbomar