The Pre-Application Dialogue

Mariana de Petersen, Guatemala City, Guatemala

As Leaders it’s important that we have a thorough dialogue with an interested mother before writing her recommendation and asking her to fill out the application form. Some Leaders may not be aware of this important step. The conversation needs to include:

  • A discussion of La Leche League’s philosophy and each of the ten concepts as they relate to her experience.
  • The LLLI Prerequisites for Applying for Leadership.
  • The LLLI Criteria for Leader Accreditation.
  • Basic Leader responsibilities.

The Leader Accreditation Department (LAD) wants to make sure that all Leaders are aware of this first step, as we still encounter some Leaders who expect the LAD representative to have this discussion with the Leader Applicant. It is the recommending Leader who is responsible for the pre-application dialogue.

To prepare for your pre-application discussion:

  • Consider holding a workshop for interested mothers (see Interested Mothers’ Workshop, Leaven, 1992).
  • Make sure you and the interested person have access to and have read the Thinking About LLL Leadership? web pages or an equivalent resource.
  • Use the Pre-Application Dialogue web page or an equivalent resource as a checklist or guide for the discussion.
  • Use Appendices 17, Concept Policy Statements, and 18, LLLI Prerequisites to Applying for Leadership, as references to broaden and deepen the dialogue about LLL philosophy.
  • Know the role of the recommendation and how to fill it out. If an incomplete recommendation is received, the LAD representative may send it back and ask you to provide more details. Sometimes Leaders write “She lives the philosophy.” That is not enough to give the LAD representative a “picture” of the person you are recommending. You’ll want to share specific examples of how the person lives the philosophy, how she meets the prerequisites and how she supports mothers in the Group.
  • Contact the Coordinator of Leader Accreditation (CLA) for your Area if you have any questions about what to cover in the pre-application dialogue or what to include in your recommendation.

If, after this discussion, you have any questions regarding the interested mother, contact the CLA before writing your recommendation. It is important that any concerns are sorted out before the person sends in her application. It is desirable to find any surprises before the application starts and to discuss them with the mother to see how she meets the prerequisites.

Mariana is a mother of three. She is an an active LLL Leader and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). For 33 years she has been a volunteer with LLL in Guatemala, where she leads a Group and supports Leader accreditation for Guatemala and Central America. She also manages the LAD for Latin America. Mariana has worked at the Roosevelt Hospital promoting UNICEF’s Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative.