Now that you have identified a mother who is interested in learning more about becoming an LLL Leader, it is time to start the pre-application dialogue. During this time, you will learn more about the mother so that you can feel confident about possibly recommending her for leadership, and the interested mother will learn more about what it means to be an LLL Leader so she can consider whether or not she wants to pursue leadership.
In a Group with more than one Leader, it is important to consult with co-Leaders to make sure they don’t have any reservations about beginning a pre-application dialogue with this mother. You can work with a potential Applicant in a group setting with your co-Leaders or you can work with her alone. If at any time during the dialogue, you become unsure about a mother’s readiness for LLL leadership, talk it over with your co-Leaders and get their insight and/or contact the CLA, Christine Thompson <firstname.lastname@example.org>. She can help you with any questions or concerns.
The most helpful document when beginning your dialogue with an interested mother is Thinking About La Leche League Leadership (TALLL). It can be found here: http://www.llli.org/lad/talll/faq.html. Once the mother has read TALLL, the two of you will discuss it. She is likely to have questions about the responsibilities of leadership and the application time, both of which are explained in the TALLL.
The next step is to meet and talk with her in detail about her birth and breastfeeding experience and about each of the ten concepts that represent La Leche League philosophy. These can be found in the TALLL. You may ask her for examples of how she has applied the concepts in her own mothering. It can be very helpful to take notes so that if you decide to recommend her, you will more easily be able to write your recommendation.
If you don’t know the mother very well, this process could take several meetings. On the other hand, if a mother has been attending meetings regularly, speaks often in meetings, and you know her quite well, you may be able to complete this part of the dialogue and fill out the recommendation form all at the same meeting.
Next time, we will talk more about how the pre-application dialogue might go with a mother you do not know well.
I hope we can continue this conversation on the FL/CI Leaders Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/248828131853744/
‘Til next time,
Supporting Leader Mentor