2018-19 Consultants
Team AXO

On the Road to Leading with Grace and Confidence

Michelle CritchfieldBy: Michelle Critchfield (Omicron, Baker University)

During my time as a chapter consultant for Alpha Chi Omega, I have learned many valuable skills and lessons.  Many of those lessons will, no doubt, transfer to the next step I take in life. Of the many “soft skills” that one learns by being a road warrior for almost two years, a few of those lessons have transformed my life. Nashville

The first, and most difficult, has been learning to give grace. Giving grace to those around me has been easier to do because I know those I work with and work for prioritize so many things in their life and always put forth their best effort.  It has been an ongoing challenge for me, particularly in my second year on the road, to learn how to give myself that same grace. Living in a high-achieving world that my consultant colleagues and I have created for ourselves leaves little room me to believe that I can give anything less than perfection, and still be accepted and respected. Through many conversations and hours reflecting on my own challenges, I have come to understand the importance of owning my mishaps. I’m learning from my many mistakes and using those as a driving force to make myself the best sister, daughter, friend and co-worker I can be.

Another skill that has been transformed through my time as a consultant has been leading within a team. I have served on many teams in my lifetime and had leadership roles within some of those experiences. However, no other role has taught me how to be an impactful leader while working within so many teams all at the same time. I have the opportunity to work with many incredible women in our organization, from Alpha Chi Omega staff members to executive boards to passionate Fraternity volunteers. Collaborating with one team provides me the ability to learn, so that I can coach or lead another team to a great place. Drafting real, strong women

The last lesson that I have gained throughout my time as a chapter consultant is how to live my life confidently. Throughout all my experiences with Alpha Chi Omega, I have had women around me build up my confidence. When I doubted whether I could achieve something in college, my sisters were there to tell me that I could do it. When I still struggle to find the right path, my co-workers are second-to-none at reminding me how proud I should be of the work I do and life I live every single day. From the woman who mentored me as VP recruitment back in 2014 to every woman I meet in this job, they remind me that I am capable of so much more than I think. I can say wholeheartedly that Alpha Chi Omega has given me the confidence I need to excel within any route I take in life.

Serving as a chapter consultant has only solidified my belief that Alpha Chi Omega is a place where women can receive grace, work with inspiring women across the country and grow confidently in themselves. Many incredible women have helped me see how much of a real, strong woman I truly am.

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