Qualities of a Good Sponsor

There are no specific qualifications for sponsorship in OA. Naturally, it is more beneficial to work with a sponsor who is committed to abstinence and to working the Steps. When looking for a sponsor, the pamphlet “Tools of Recovery” suggest members keep in mind that “sponsors share their program up to the level of their own experience… find a sponsor who has what you want and ask how it was achieved.”

Nonetheless, there some basic qualities you might look for to find a good sponsor:

  • Works strong program in all three aspects: spiritually, emotionally, physically.
  • Is open and honest and willing to share both good and bad experiences. (How else does a sponsee see that it is okay to make mistakes and learn how to recover from them?)
  • Has good communication skills and can clearly articulate expectations. (The sponsor and sponsee need to be on the same page in this regard.)
  • Is able to maintain a degree of detachment and not get caught up in any sponsee “drama.” (A sponsor is not responsible for either the failures or the successes of a sponsee.)
  • Is not attached to any single “right” way of doing things. Willing to work on finding what works for the sponsee.
  • Is available with time for phone calls and face-to-face meetings

No one is likely to have every quality you would like in a sponsor, but only you can decide which ones are a “must” for you. If you are planning to sponsor someone, again, make sure that you are both on the same page with regards to expectations.