With my leadership cohort, we took together LDR200L on Wednesday nights with our Professor, Jesi Ekonnen along with three amazing TA’s: Garrett Ritterhaus, Kate Odykirk, and my G, Jordan Salerno. LDR200L was very eye-opening. I was given so many great opportunities with facilitation, theory research, and just getting to know my cohort on a closer level. We discussed many different leadership theories, applying them in the real world, and on top of that, we got to create our own leadership philosophy.
One thing I am so happy to take away from this class was the skill of facilitation. I never really have facilitated an activity before this class, and I feel as if I gained confidence talking and using a leading role in an activity initiative.
Facilitation is so important when it comes to different activities. It sets the mood and teaches us how to effectively give direction and help people throughout course activities. This is very important, mainly when you are working with a team who wants to achieve goals and working hard in solving problems. Within my LAS cohort, we all know we have different leadership styles and skills, but improving them and working to help give others ideas and facilitate positively, will only be great encouragement for our future endeavors. The cool thing about learning how to facilitate is that it challenges you to think from different points of view, coming in with an open-mind, making the activity experience for others, a good one.
In our LDR200L class, we learned about dealing with silence or uncomfortable situations you are likely to be in when facilitating and asking questions/debriefing an activity. A facilitators job is to spark in conversation, asking questions and letting the participants grow deeper in conversation on their own level. While facilitating and debriefing, it is ideal to recognize that all people are different and take things in different ways, so it is very important to be respectful, having an open-mind. The goal of facilitated activities is just to learn or take away even just one small thing from it.
From my LDR200L class, I have observed many things. I have watched people gain knowledge from one another, and how to apply leadership in every day life. Active leadership was one of my favorite theories learned. I have taken away from this presented workshop theory. I was not always an active leader but facilitation came into this theory for me. About a month ago, I went on a sisterhood retreat with my sorority, Phi Sigma Sigma, and as the Leadership Development Chair, I had the opportunity to come up with an activity and facilitate it for my whole chapter. I ended up doing one of my favorite activities called, Cross the line. This is a very serious activity and is supposed to be completely silent. I ask very personal questions and if the people behind the line agree with my statement or if it has happened to them, they were asked to cross the line. I had to take charge, quite people down saying, “this is a serious activity”, making it a big deal. Once the activity was over, I debriefed it briefly and everyone said how much of an impact it had on them. Also, a visitor from our headquarters came up to me afterward and said to me, “this is one of my favorite activities and you by far presented this better than other other person I have seen do it, great job.” I felt so proud of myself knowing that I took away this skill from LDR class and the theory workshops.
Overall, I am so happy I took this class and I can’t wait to apply everything I learned more and more throughout my next three years of college!