Communication is key

Leadership Education

I’m sure for many people, this quote has come up at least once when discussing relationships. For me, this quote will always remind me of my experience in a class I had to take for my LAS protocol called Communication in Leadership.

This class was taught by quite possibly one of the sweetest women I have ever met–Elizabeth Carlson. She was passionate about this subject and wanted each of us really take something away from this class that we could apply to our lives as leaders and how it would result in us being a more effective leader.

Personally, the things I took away from this class were more of topics that dealt with my own leadership styles and how I influence my followers through how I lead. I specifically learned that I tend to be more of a democratic leader as well as a servant leader. When leading groups, I find it very important that although I may be designated as the “leader”, all my followers feel like their voices and opinions are valued and heard. I want everyone to give input and work together to reach the common goal, whatever it may be. This style is called a democratic style because it is very similar to a democracy, where all people get a say in politics are a free to express their thoughts and opinions. The other style, a servant leader, is something I have always strived to be more like because I admire it in all the people in my life who I see as leaders. Specifically, I think of my Mom. That woman puts everyone before herself and deeply cares for others, something I consciously have to remind myself to do.

Through this class, I learned what I want to change about my leadership style, as well as the strengths I see in how I lead. This class not only helped me learn more about my cohort and the leaders they are, but also about myself and how there is no right or wrong way to leadership; everyone is just different!

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Finding That Spark!

Leadership Training

What’s being a leader without going to many leadership events??

This past Friday I was able to spend a chunk of my day at an event called Spark that the Leadership Institute here at CMU puts on for any student on campus that wants to better their leadership skills. As a part of this event, we took time to really learn about leadership styles and what our leadership styles are. There are 4 leadership styles: direct, spirited, systematic, and considerate. I scored the highest in the considerate leader style, meaning that as a leader I work to accommodate everyone’s needs in the group and help maintain team harmony. Although I scored highly in this style, I can also see a little bit of myself in each of the other categories and that’s whats important. No leadership style is better or more important than another. Each style works together to be successful.

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picture by the Leadership Institute staff

After leaving Spark, I am now very eager to work with groups and use the strengths of my style to help lead. I am also looking forward to challenging myself to become better in the other categories as well. One style that I would like to work on is becoming more of a spirited leader as well. I want to be able to provide a spark to groups when their energy seems to be dragging or just be more spontaneous. I know that a lot of my favorite leaders were the ones who were very fired up and that made me more excited as well. I encourage you to find which leadership style best describes you and to read into it more! Everyone is a leader whether or not you think you are.