Becoming a successful retreat leader: A Simple but Tricky Task

Jul 11, 2019

When it comes to conducting a retreat, there would be various problems and hurdles that need to be overcome. If you are a person who is in charge of a retreat, then you would know the problems. But what many people forget is all retreats require a good leader in order to become successful. And there are certain things that should be there in a person for him to become a successful retreat leader. Finding such a person for your retreat would do a world of good for your program. 

The leader should be calm and composed

Calmness is a trait that everyone wouldn't have. And when it comes to a leader, calmness is a virtue that is very important. No one would want to work under a very hot-headed leader. Also, a stressed mind wouldn’t be able to function to its full potential. So a leader who is easily stressed would not be able to make healthy decisions for his team members or the guests attending the retreat. In short, the leader should be able to stay calm in difficult situations. This calmness would rub off on others in the team as well. This, in turn, would influence the guests and thereby the retreat would function smoothly.

Always have a smile

A person who is happy would only be able to transfer happiness to others. So, a successful retreat leader would always be happy and he or she would have a smile at all times. A pleasant face is indeed important in order to attract the attention of the guests and to gain their respect. Also, everyone would only likely to obey a pleasant person.

Experience is key

A person can study from his or her experiences. So, a person with years of experience behind him would be much better when compared to a person who is relatively new in the field. Also, an experienced mind would have gone through various scenarios and he or she would know what to do in order to solve a particular problem. Also, an experienced leader would know all about handling a group of guests. So experience is one other unavoidable trait that is required to for a person to be a successful retreat leader.

Strong decision-making power

It is true that everyone would love to work under a calm leader. Also, all the guests would be pleased to see a leader who is not hot-headed. But at the same time, the leader would be in various situations where he or she would have to take a strong decision so that the problem is solved. And while making such a decision, there would be others who don't like it. A successful retreat leader would be able to ignore such people and even convince them about the decision. Also, the leader should be able to get respect from the guests. This is because if a problem arises between the guests, then the leader would have to calm the situation.

Should have a strong say in each and every department of the retreat

Leading a retreat might sometimes mean controlling almost every single department of the retreat. This means that the leader would have to make sure that all the sections of the retreat that are, from planning to the promotion section, works effectively. This is because the leader is a person who makes sure that the retreat becomes successful. So, in short, a successful retreat leader would be one who is well versed in all the sections related to a retreat. For example, a good leader would ensure that there is absolutely no shortage of food and drinking water under any circumstances.

Follow up on the guests

Once the retreat is over, most leaders forget about the guests or students. But this is not the sign of a true leader. If you want to be a leader who is close to the guests’ hearts, then you would have to make sure that you follow up on them. So, ensure that you have a consolidated list of the guests who have attended the retreat along with their contact numbers and email IDs. You should also contact them via email often. Also, details about new retreats can be sent to them frequently. If you find any particular guests who have the potential to be exceptional in the field, then make sure that you take special care about them.

Have the required knowledge

When it comes to retreat leaders, the most important thing is that one should be well versed in the thing that should be taught. If this is not the case, the leader should have an expert in the field to teach the guests. This means that the leader might not always be the teacher or instructor. But even then, the leader should have adequate knowledge about the field of the retreat.  As a leader, you should ensure that you keep yourself updated about the latest trends in the field. Also, make sure that you teach only what you know. There should not be any kind of risk-taking when it comes to the safety of the guests.  

Making the schedule

A leader is a person who is responsible for making the schedule of the retreat. Mouth to mouth promotion is the best method there is. If the guests are satisfied, then they would make sure that the good name of the retreat is kept high. So, it is important to satisfy the guests who attend your retreat. And for this, there should be a very interesting schedule. As a leader, you should make sure that various kinds of games and other interesting activities are added in the schedule. Also, a successful retreat leader would be able to handle the guests when it comes to games and other activities. Care must be taken to ensure that the schedule is a blend of interesting activities and the core part.


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