Category Archives: Leadership Training

Mentor Reflection

Freshmen year is coming to an end, which means mentee preparation! Through my Leadership Advancement scholarship it means I will be a mentor my sophomore year, to a next years LAS freshmen. In preparation in transforming from a mentee to a mentor we had a session in our leadership class discussing with fellow classmates ideas of how to be a great mentor. I have been so excited for this moment and had taken a lot of thought into what kind of mentor I want to be. Before our mentor workshop in class my ideas about being a mentor were faint, but after I was able to be more confident and reassure myself about how to be a successful mentor. Also, from the workshop I was able to gain a broader perspective from other classmates ideas. The new ideas allows be to have a greater grasp of how to go about certain situations, also with being aware of certain situations I didn’t think about.

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mentee to mentor!

I am so excited about being a mentor because it is an honorable position to have knowing that you are given this opportunity to help them in adjusting to college. Also, no one else can be their mentor, others can be a mentor figure, but you are assigned to a specific person. I am excited to spread my love for CMU and help them try new things, because this is exciting time in our lives. I believe in experiencing as many things as possible in order for them to learn what they like/dislike and broaden their horizons by learning about new things. Not only am I excited to be a mentor, but a friend, too. During the hard times whatever it may be I want my mentee to know that I am there for them and it is okay to not be okay. I want them to know they are not alone.  I am passionate about the things I do and the clubs I am apart of and I want my mentee to experience them and challenge themselves, but also find their own passion at campus.

I am preparing myself to be a mentor by letting go of my mentor in the sense of being less dependable of them. I have to be more independent and self-sufficient in order to be a dependable mentor for my future mentee.  Also, I am brainstorming different ways my mentor made me feel important and an example was sending texts to check in on how I was doing or just sending positive affirmation of saying they were proud of me. Another idea I have is to set a certain time a way to hangout with my mentee, so we can bond and have no distractions. College can be busy and I want to make sure we can have that quality time together. Another thing I loved that my mentor did was she met up with me before school started and that allowed me to ask questions and ease the pre-college nerves. Meeting with her was so helpful and allowed me to go to school confident. I want to provide the same opportunity for my mentee, because I want them to have the confidence and the re-assurance they need. Ultimately, I am going to be a mentor that can adapt to what they need and go out of my way to meet those needs. As, well as be open with them in knowing what they expect from me.

With most new experiences you can only plan so much. I know I will have to learn along the way, but I am not nervous because we will have each other. This kind of thing you can’t completely plan for, except to make sure that you are leading by example and doing things that would exemplify a good role model. Lastly, I super excited to have this bond with another LAS scholar. I hope that my mentee will feel confident and have an easy transition to college through my help. Most importantly, I am excited to have them impact my life. Only the best leaders get into this program and I can not even imagine the incredible talents they will be able to teach teach/inspire me. I hope through this process we will both be able to grow as leaders and be there for each other.

OVERALL, I AM SUPER EXCITED!!!

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Spark Leadership Experience Reflection

Spark Leadership Series is a program training at Central Michigan University. The training is interactive and last roughly 5 hours. This training is meant to help develop your leadership style, network and connect with diverse people, and challenge yourself through leadership activities.

To check out more about Spark Training click this link https://www.cmich.edu/ess/leadership/Pages/alpha.aspx.

This training was more than just doing leadership activities like other training events I have been to, this one allowed me to see what kind of leader I was through a test we were given. It gave me insight and answers to why I do certain things, especially when I lead. My  results showed that my leadership style was spirited. 16251892_10154420433399075_7252067262165220396_o

I learned that as a spirited leader we are high in assertiveness and expressiveness. Other things I learned was that I am a big-picture thinker. I motivate to be creative and create fresh ideas. Another interesting strength as a spirited leader is that we are spontaneous so it keeps a fun atmosphere. I can relate to being a spirited leader because I have a bubbly personality and always am full of life and creativity.

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My lowest score for leadership style was considerate. my plan for the future is to listen more, incorporate, and be more patient. I want to grow in this weakness because I value the leaders that are more considerate. I intend on learning through experience , by engulfing myself in more leadership roles and practicing that leadership style. My specific goals to practice being more of a considerate leader is to make sure I ask others for their opinions, stay present and not distracted, and give time to others and fully listen them. I now this will help me because as a spirited leader I can be overenthusiastic with my own ideas. A great leader will acknowledge their weaknesses and work on them to become a better leader, and I intend to do so.

Another thing I want to work on in the future is the trouble spots I learned about for being a spirited leader. The weaknesses we have are being too persuasive, indecisive, and we can  lose sight of long term goals. I believe growing in other leadership styles will help me be able to just apply all my strengths and be aware of what type of leader I want to be. Now, I am going to explore other leadership styles, including being considerate like I talked about. I believe a great leader needs to have some of each leadership style because they are all important.

Additionally, like other trainings I learned so much from being able to connect with different leaders and gain a wider perspective. Through activities we were able to pool all of our strengths and give different perspectives. I got to grow and learn from those around me and create friendships with people different from myself. For future, I am going to continue immersing myself in different cultures, leadership styles, and ideas of other people because it only helps yourself from gaining a broader perspective.

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Overall, Spark gave me a better insight to who I am and how I can improve on my leadership skills. Also, it helped me get different perspectives and learn different leadership styles by working with people with styles other than mine. I now feel confident in who I am and how to work with people and be more understanding of other leadership styles.

Leadership Intelligence

At the Connections Conference we had sessions to pick from and the one I learned most from was Leaders in Action: Implementing Emotional Intelligence Strategies.

As a requirement to blog about a leadership lecture I thought this was the perfect one.

If want to know more about what Connections Conference is go to my blog post, ” The 7 Truths at Conference”

 

During, the session they broke down Emotional Intelligence into four categories:

  1. Self-Awareness
  2. Self-Management
  3. Social Awareness
  4. Relationship Management

 

Self-Awareness

As a leader you must be able to check yourself and be able to ask why you are doing the things you do. Visit your values. Checking in with yourself allows you to stay focused and make sure the things you do have a purpose.

Also, by reflecting on yourself it is crucial to know what or who makes you mad and learn from that. What makes you upset and why does it?

Gaining feedback from yourself is important, but also seeking out feedback from others. It provides you the opportunity to get an outside perspective and self evaluate yourself.

To be a better you, you have to know you and know you are being true to you.

Now, I am going to take time to reflect in my everyday life. I see how in my past I get carried away in the day, but I a working on being more self-aware. I am learning more about myself, now that I analyze and think about things.

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Self-Management

The overall message of self-management is stay positive and do positive things.

When you are upset, count to 10.

Whether an encounter with someone is good or bad, a leader will find a valuable lesson in the encounter and use it to grow.

When you have a difficult decision, sleep on it.

A leader must take control of their self talk making sure it is positive and that they can speak and see success for themselves. Instead of looking at limitations, look at freedoms.

Physical and mental health is important so it is necessary to take time to recharge or have a better sleep schedule.

As a leader I am going to practice not to run off of emotions or make irrational decisions. It is important to stay strong, calm, and positive as a leader. I am going to practice the tips I was given like counting to ten when I get upset and making sure self-talk is positive.

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Social Awareness

A few key things they mentioned when dealing with people is greet people by their name, watch body language, and make timing everything.

Also, it is important to live in the moment and listen to those around you. The hardest thing people find to do is truly listen.

A good question to ask yourself is are you truly listening? People can pick up on body language and insincerity, so evaluate the way that you listen.

Being around people it is important to seek the whole picture, sometimes we just see face value and make quick judgments, seek to understand.

The best way to understand is to step into their shoes and really get a better perspective of what you thought.

Now, I am going to be more aware. I feel this lesson of social awareness is most important, but rarely utilized. If I change or improve on my relationships with others it will give me more respect from others. As a leader it can feel empowering, but it is important to not get big-headed and remember to do the little things, like remembering names and truly listening. I am going to practice these skills in my organizations and with any relationship I have because the way you treat others tells a lot about yourself.

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Relationship Management

Through relationships it is important to be open whether it is dealing with hard conversations or taking feedback well.

You must always be open and mindful of your feelings and of others.

By avoiding giving mixed messages and being open you gain trust with those around you. Other things you can do to gain trust is remembering the little things, when you care show it, having an open door policy, and acknowledging other people’s feelings.

Trust is huge within building and maintaining relationships.

One piece that they talked about that influenced me the most is explaining your decisions, not just making them.

Many leaders decide on things with out explaining the reason for them and I feel it is so important in being aware of why you do the things you do.

Now I am going to make sure that I am keeping conversations open and clear. Being in many organizations communication is important. As a leader in organizations I want to make my team feel comfort to talk to me, so I am going to incorporate asking others if they have in questions or concerns. Also, I am going to keep a positive inviting attitude, so myself and my team are all on the same page and not holding anything back.

 

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7 Truths at Conference

Connections conference is a CMU conference that was offered at Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City, MI.

As a LAS cohort we all went, but also other organizations from CMU as well. The conference’s theme was to branch out and we were able to do so by interacting with other CMU organizations at the conference.

The goal was to have an opportunity to exchange ideas with other organizations and make new networks through those discussions.

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Photo credits: CMU Leadership Institute

Also, with different influential conference speakers it gave an opportunity to strengthen and practice our leadership skills.

We got to choose what speakers we wanted to go to and I choose:

  • What Legacy Will You Leave?
  • Don’t Get Caught in the Mouse Trap of Communication
  • Rooted Growth: Mentoring Peers in Your Community
  • Leaders in Action: Implementing Emotional Intelligence Strategies

7 Things I have learned to be true, during the conference…

  1. You can never stop learning. Leadership is a passion of mine and I will always be fired up to learn or grow in my leadership skills. I believe everyone should want to grow and never define success with a ending point.

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2. Support goes a long way. LAS makes a family. The support allows you to grow and take chances knowing people have your back.

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3. Connections are important. Branching out and learning about other people is so impacting. By building positive relationships and connections it will help you further your network and diversify yourself. nd to

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Photo credits: CMU Leadership Institute

4. Teamwork makes the dream work. You do not have to be alone. By working with someone else you can learn and grow in perspective and bring back more skills than what you had.

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Photo credits: CMU Leadership Institute

5. A leader is not flawless. As a leader you will make mistakes nobody is perfect, but a true leader will acknowledged them and keep moving forward. In the picture below we forgot our room key and got locked out, it is not a perfect example of making mistakes, but it does add humor to know that nobody is perfect and sometimes you just have to wait it out.

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6.Work hard, sleep hard. The weekend was exhausting. You know you it was a good conference when you are so tired you pass up being at the water slide.

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7. Love makes the world go round. Going with my cohort to the conference allowed me to make better connections with the people in LAS. We all grow to love each other and we will forever be there for each other.

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NOW: I am going to use my connections I made to learn more about different organizations and to work with different leaders on campus. I am going to implement different skills other leaders talked about at the conference to benefit my organizations. I now have connections with many diverse leaders and I know if I ever need help or have questions I can lean to them to use their knowledge I may not of have.

Butterfly Fly

How does one become a butterfly?

You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.

 

Leadership Safari allowed me to move in prior to the fall semester at CMU.

Not only did I have more time to settle in, but the opportunity to learn leadership skills and opportunities.

I had so many new feelings coming to college for the first time.

Away from home, by myself!

During, Safari I did not feel butterflies in my stomach I felt the whole zoo!

Like any new experience I was excited, but nervous of the unknown.

It was my first time being on my own and I did not know what to expect.

I wanted to spread my wings, but I find comfort in what’s familiar and that was home.

I found a new home though and Leadership Safari helped me believe that everything will be alright.

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I am so thankful I was put into this group, during Safari.

Each individual is so unique and special to me.

Going through the week with them I got to learn so much about these incredible humans.

I learned their struggles in life, their beliefs, and goals.

I was able to open my heart to people who were completely diverse from myself.

The most important thing they taught me is that regardless of beliefs or views there are people out there that will love you for you.

Acceptance and love was key to our group and I found it so important.

There is so much diversity at CMU and with being in such a diverse group that never judged allowed me to carry on that mindset throughout the year when experiencing new cultures and ideologies.

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Not only did my group teach me that diversity is okay and should be embraced, but even when you fall you can get back up because we are all in this together.

The scariest thing about college was being alone.

But in reality we are alone, together.

We are connected, like the human knot in the picture.

We may have fallen, but together we lift each other up and keep going.

I found it reassuring, knowing that I was not alone.

This experience was new to everyone and as a group we learned to adapt together.

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The day this picture was taken we did a trust fall activity, it helped me let go.

Let go of any fears or second guesses.

Not only was I able to overcome my fear of heights, but I was able to overcome free falling into the unknown.

I found that this activity had a deeper meaning of trusting the people I was placed with.

It showed me that you fall into this thing called college.

You put your trust into it, even though you could have thoughts of what could go wrong, but soon enough that fear is over and you are caught with support and guidance.

When my group caught me I knew everything was going to be okay.

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One last picture of my Safari group.

Even though we were team Jaguars, at heart we are all butterflies.

I cannot wait to see where their journey at CMU will take them.

I hope they soar to where ever their heart leads them knowing the sky’s the limit because they are such talented individuals who deserve so much in life.

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I feel like everyone has had a cocoon moment in their life, being afraid of change, the unknown, or even growth.

I found that leaving our “cocoon” can be scary and can make yourself question if you can step away from your comfort zone, but when it is all over your soaring in the sky believing there is no limits.

Leadership Safari allowed me to not only become a butterfly, but help me realize I was one all along I just needed to let go and embrace the unknown.

Safari instilled in me hope, excitement, knowledge, love, and friendships.

The guest speakers, activities, and especially my group have impacted me so much, during my first week of being at CMU.

It took a nervous home bound girl and set her free.

Free to spread her wings and fly.

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Now, I am going to make sure I can be a mentor to anyone who needs me. Specifically, I want to apply to be a safari guide because mine helped me so much and went out of her way afterwards to make sure I adjusted. Also, I joined College 101 to be guide and mentor for at-risk high school students visiting colleges. I want to use my positive experience to help others that need it. Also, I learned how to be a good guide/mentor and I found the skills my guide had to be useful to bring to my organizations and even when I get a mentee in LAS. The experience has proved beneficial in adjusting to college, but also in helping me be a better leader.