Tag Archives: communication

Year In Review Reflection

As an assignment for LDR200, we were asked to revisit your resolution post from 
January, specifically the four questions.

blog blog blog
1. Have you made progress towards these resolutions? Why or why not?
2. How have you grown as a leader since you arrived on campus in August 2014?
3. What have you learned about yourself as a leader?
4. What have you learned about working with others?
Now, I will answer these questions and tell you about my 2015 Spring semester at CMU. Let me tell you, it was one for the books! As I am writing this, it is my last week as a freshmen, my last week in Barnes hall, and my last week living with the best roommates ever. I am really sad, so I apologize if I am extra sappy in this blog post! lol.

1. Have you made progress towards these resolutions? Why or why not?

Although I wouldn’t say I was 100% successful in accomplishing my goals, I would say that I did a pretty job with making progress towards the resolutions. In my post back in January, I said that I wanted to get good grades second semester, stick to a more set schedule, get back to my normal weight, and meet more people. I think that I have done a really job with all of those, except for the weight one. This semester, as I got busier and busier, fitness was put on the back burner. Eating dorm food again, every day, did not help. I am very disappointed I let myself become like this, because I used to be very very active. This summer, I will have lot more time to just work my job, and work out. I am running a half marathon in october, so I will be training for that and having to stick to a workout and diet plan. Besides that resolution, I think that I did a really good job of studying and doing my homework. First semester was my adjustment period, where I learned what places I studied well in, and what places I would loose focus, and how to balance my time to do all my homework. I also had a lot of classes with people I knew, and was able to get help from them. I learned what kind of studying techniques also worked best for me, and I will be finishing the semester off with a lot better g.p.a. than first semester. So whoooo! for that!! I also think I did a really good job of writing in my calendar, which helped me balance my time and stick to a set schedule. With meeting people, I continued to form new connections with people through different activities and clubs. I met some really good friends when I was volunteering on Spring Break, with the alternative breaks program.

2. How have you grown as a leader since you arrived on campus in August 2014?

I think that I have learned a lot about how to facilitate and teach others. I was never trained in leadership like that back in high school. I would also say that I learned how to deal with difficult people, and not that I haven’t dealt with that before, but I have had some interesting situations this year with people in my program, and learned how to adjust to that. Sometimes people in life are just very selfish, judgmental, people, and they aren’t phased by treating people badly. They don’t feel guilty when they make fun of others, and they hate certain people for no specific reason. I learned how to deal with people like that this year.

3. What have you learned about yourself as a leader?

I learned from the Alpha Leadership Experience that I am a Considerate Leader. I want everyone to be happy and I often times think about everyone in a group setting. I am not the strongest at dictating people or having to be harsh with them. Considerate leaders tend to be very big on compassion and serving others. I also learned that I am good at adjusting to new things, but sometimes it just takes me a little while to figure it out. For example, I blindly excepted the nomination of fundraising chair for my sorority, and this semester has been a nightmare when it comes to that! I had no idea how to run a fundraiser at all, and was just given the simple directions of “Run the candle fundraiser, okay?” and I went into it not knowing how any of the operations worked. Well, I can tell you, I learned a lot having to deal with 97 girls and some of their families. It was a lot of stress having to cater to so many people, and with so many different opinions. Also, I am NOT a math person, and counting so many checks and cash, forms and candles really cave me a migraine. Now that it’s over though, I can say I grew as a person, learned a lot about organization, communication, and time management, learned that it’s okay to ask for help sometimes, and how to run a large fundraiser. And I made about $3,000 in profit for my chapter operations, can I get a booyaah!? Probably won’t be fundraising chair again, but nonetheless, I learned a lot about leadership.

4. What have you learned about working with others?

Like I said up above, I have learned a lot about dealing with difficult people. I also learned that compromise is very important when living with roommates and being so close to people every second of the day. Sometimes little things can irritate people, and you have to respect them enough to give them space, or just figure out a solution. Also, sometimes for things like group projects, when there are really strong, vocal personalities in the bunch, it’s best to just sit back and play peace maker, instead of trying to debate them. Things will go by a lot faster if you try and get everyone to voice their opinion, so that the one person who is very strong willed does’t control everything and get too bossy. Promote teamwork and respect!

And well, that is all folks! This year has been crazy fast! I learned an awful lot! I became a good student and very dedicated to my academics (yay!)! I had a lot of fun! I made amazing friendships that I’m incredibly sad to leave behind (my dorm family third floor tribe)! 2015 was great! Excited for summer and fall to roll around! Peace and blessings

blog blog

Mentor Workshop / Draft Day – Reflection

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary.com

Mentor: Someone who teaches or gives help and advice to a less experienced and often younger person, acts as a trusted guide, and is an influential supporter.

Mentor Reflection / Mentor Workshop:

Brace yourself, because this blog post is about to be very jumbled around, with a lot of random thoughts! I haven’t posted in awhile, and I am very happy to start writing again. But I would like to start with, HOLY CRAP! I cannot believe how fast this year has gone by, it’s absolutely crazy. Last year at this time, I was just told who would be my mentor in the Leader Advancement Scholar program, and was introduced to my “family tree”. I received a big box in the mail, with a long hand written letter (that was super super sweet! by the way), some CMU spirit wear, some dorm decorations, treats and other miscellaneous things from my mentor. I had just finalized my rooming situation and picked my classes for my freshman year. Now, it’s a year later! WOW. It’s really weird to think about how crazy fast life has gone by lately. I just went through “mentee draft” and picked someone that I will be able to mentor next year. The word mentee is a little strange, I will admit, but it is something that is among my favorite things that the LAS program offers. I really don’t know if I would have survived this school year if it weren’t for my mentor, Megan Mcgillis, and I am really thankful LAS brought us together. It freaks me out sometimes, but I think we are the same person. Megan is always there for me, even on my worst days, to take me to dinner in the dining hall and cheer me up with her encouraging words, or give me good advise about scheduling classes and choosing majors, when I am having a freak out. She spoils me and takes me out to eat off campus,  and pays for my meal every time, refusing to let me pay because “you are my mentee and you are meant to be spoiled okay!?”. She is constantly inspires me, I really look up to her. Like what college sophomore could say they’ve gone to Africa two summers in a row, to help malnourished children and mothers affected by HIV? Not many, thats for sure! She works two jobs, still manages to get good grades, and is involved on campus. She encouraged me to go greek, and I am very thankful for her pushing me to join. She is not only my mentor, but my good friend. I look up to her, and respect her. We always have such a great time together, and I just love her so much! As talk about the mentee draft started to be brought up through our LAS cohort, I could not help but hope I would get a mentee that was similar to Megan. Someone that I could spoil, give advice to, cheer them up on their bad days, make them presents, and love unconditionally. Someone that shared similar values to me, and someone that wanted to be good friends, not only mentor/menthes. In my LDR200 Class, we did a mentor workshop one day. We talked about all the things we were looking for in a mentee, all the things we would commit to do as a mentor, and important things to remember as we went into the competitive mentee draft day. My views did not change during this workshop, but it was just reaffirmed that no matter what student I received as a mentee, I would love them all the same. I would try my very hardest to give them the best resources and advice. We received a booklet of 45+ possible mentees, with their social media information (to stalk them and talk to them of course), random facts about them (favorite color, favorite quote, etc.), where they were from, their desired majors, and few more things. I went home from that class and looked at all the potential mentees. I found a few that looked like they shared similarities with me, and started talking to them through twitter. One of the girls really stood out to me, and I just knew I really wanted her as a mentee. So, on to the dreaded draft day…

Draft Day…

mentee draft

No, it was not NFL draft day, but it was something more important, Mentee Draft day, Duh! This must sound like the absolute strangest thing, to someone who isn’t in the LAS program. But for short, basically you go into class that day with an idea of the students you want as a mentee, and write down your first pick on a piece of paper. After that, we go in a circle around the room, and people read off their first choice. If someone has the same first pick as you, they “object” when you read it off. That potential mentee is put on “hold” and the circle keeps going. If no one objects, you receive your first choice! The second round is for the people with objections, and you play a card game to see who wins that first choice. Whoever has the higher card, gets to choose first. The third round of the draft is for people who want two mentees, and they get to pick their second one. This might sound confusing, but what I can tell you is that people are extremely competitive on this day. Picture war paint on the face and game time attitudes. LASers don’t mess around! haha. I came in knowing I wanted on specific girl. I was going to fight for her! But like I said before, if I did end up with someone else, I would love them all the same. I was very nervous, because I didn’t know if someone else in my class wanted the same person as me or not. My mentor told me, don’t worry, because obviously if something is meant to be, it will happen. It all works out in the end, so don’t worry about something you can’t control. That was really good advice I thought, because God would put me with whoever I could help the most, and the good man upstairs knows what he’s doing!

IMG_0549

Continued Draft Day…

SO, guess what?!?! No one wanted the person I wanted, and I received the perfect little mentee Allegra Berry! Ah I am so excited and happy! I have yet to meet her, but I can just tell that we are going to be great friends, like Megan and I are. I can’t wait to help her next year, and spoil her rotten! We both love the color teal, got cornrows on our senior spring breaks in Mexico, like to play sports, love to volunteer, like sarcastic humor, color coordinated our dorm rooms with our roommates, and were on student council in high school. I say it was meant to be! She is the perfect fit to my LAS family tree and I love love love her! I am finally a mentor! Whoooo

IMG_0533        IMG_0511  IMG_0512IMG_0546 mentee allegra

Almost forgot, oops!

#LEADCHAT #LEADCHAT #LEADCHAT

During the 200LDR class we did our mentor workshop in, we also participated in a 
#Leadchat. For those unfamiliar with twitter, it is a way to use social media
to get the advertise something. People typically take a topic, and hashtag it (#) and let others respond to their question, response, or opinion about the topic.
Whatever is hash tagged shows up on people's twitter timeline. For our LDR200 
class, we did it through the leadership institute's twitter. That twitter page
asked a series of questions, and we were asked to respond to them. Most of the 
questions were already answered above about mentors and mentees, but here is my 
quick responses to each question:

Q1: What qualities do you look for in a mentor? #LeadChat
I want a mentor that genuinely cares about me, someone who has similar values and 
beliefs as me. This doesn't mean we have to be the same with everything we do in
life, but I want someone who understands or at least respects my beliefs. My 
mentor in LAS now, has very similar values to me, and even though we have different hobbies and do different kinds of things sometimes, we both are very similar 
because our foundations are similar. She understands me. I also want a mentor 
that wants to help me grow as a person. A mentor that can help me 
through tough times and give me advice about things socially, academically, and
really about anything is very desired. I want a mentor that I can really look up
to/

Q2: What are your expectations of your mentee? #LeadChat
I want a mentee that is excited about coming to CMU, excited to meet new people 
and make new friends, and excited to try new things. I want a mentee that is 
openminded and won't judge me. I want a mentee that loves me just as much as 
I love them, and someone who wants to be my friend. I want to help grow my mentee,
but I also want a mentee that challenges me. Someone who knows that I would do
anything for them, and aren't afraid to ask for help from me.

Q3: What is the difference between a mentor and a role model? #LeadChat
I think that Angie, (in my LAS cohort), said it best, as she tweeted "Role model= "Just do what I do." Mentor= "Bad day? I've been there too, don't worry, I've got
you." (I most definitely retweeted this, haha). But anyways, I think that a mentor is someone who wants to walk along side you, help you, grow you, and genuinely 
loves and cares about you.

Q4: What communication tools work best with a mentor/mentee relationship? 
#LeadChat
I think that it's very important to form a bond and spend face to face time with
your mentee. Life gets busy, especially for LAS scholars, but hanging out in 
person is key. Studying together at the library, going to eat in the dinning 
halls, or just hanging out on the weekends is something thats important to make
time for. The more time you spend together, the greater trust you will form. 
Sending your mentee little encourage texts through the week are also a nice thing
to do! Make sure you make yourself available to them, and if they are panicking 
about what class to take and need to call you, make sure to be there for them.

Q5: Who do you look to as a mentor? How have they had an impact on you? #LeadChat
I look to my LAS mentor, Megan as a really big mentor in my life. She is someone 
who has her priorities straight, is focused on school, but also still knows how to
have a good time, and she is really fun to be with. She is a women of God and has a really strong faith, and she give me great advice. SHe has helped me with so many things this year, its hard to name just a few.

Simon Sinek Ted Talk

How Great Leaders Inspire Action –

Simon Sinek is a man that believes in empowerment. Born in England, he has lived 
in Hong Kong, South Africa and the United States. He is active in the not-for-profit world, and works for an organization called Count Me In. He currently resides 
in New York and teaches at Columbia University.
For an LDR200 assignment, we were asked to watch Simon's famous Ted Talk, 
'How Great Leaders Inspire Action'. I found it very fascinating, and I thought
that Simon brought up very valid points. In this blog post, I will tell you all 
about Simon's method of inspiration and how we can use it in our own lives. 
Here ya go,a

There are leaders and there are those who lead.

Those who lead, inspire us.

We follow them because we want to, not because we have to.

Have you ever questioned what sets those people apart? They all think, act and communicate the same exact way. There is a pattern. Now if you can identify that pattern and apply it to your life, wouldn’t that be nice? Well Simon Sinek can help us with that. In his 20 minute Ted Talk, he explains the secret to this. He calls this way the Golden Circle (Why? How? What?). ldr According to Simon Sinek, this ‘Golden Circle’ determines why certain organizations succeed or not. He urges us to think of the WHY. What’s the purpose, belief, cause? Why should anyone care? Why do you get out of bed in the morning? Regardless of their size or industry, businesses that are more successful function with this way of thinking. He tells that “Employers hire people that believe in what they do, because they won’t be working for money, they will be working for the cause, even if that requires blood, sweat and tears.” He goes on use the Wright Brothers as an example. The Wright Brothers has passion which lead to success. They sold people on the “Why”. Not a single person on their team had a college degree and they competed with Harvard graduate, who was in it solely for the money and paycheck. I bet you haven’t heard of Samel Lingually? The best minds money can find won’t do justice to what someone who truly values a cause will do. The day the Wright brothers took flight, Langually quit all together.

“People don’t’ buy what you do, they buy WHY you do it”

This is due to..

.ldr1

The Law of Diffusion of Innovation tells us that if you want market success, or acceptance of an idea, you cannot have it unless you achieve the tipping point of 15-18% market penetration (The people who stand in land for six hours to buy the first iPhone, when the can just get it the next day). The early majority will not try something unless someone has tried it first.

I really enjoyed listening to Simen's Ted Talk. I have noticed myself looking at 
commercials and company's slogans differently after watching, and noticing how 
some advertise their "Why" and some just advertise the product. I think this is
a good reason a lot of Not-for-Profit's are successful, because they sell the 
"Why" and have a good cause to support.

“I believe a women that serves is a women that leads”

Screen Shot 2016-04-01 at 3.39.12 AM

 

Reflection Post:

Active Membership in Phi Sigma Sigma.

“OMG Mom! I joined a sorority!”… I never wanted to be one of those girls. I wasn’t really interested in Greek Life at all in the beginning of college. I had heard things, but I did not want to be classified as one of those princess, girly girl, “let’s go shopping, I love Lily Pulitzer!” kind of girls, that’s for sure. But, sure enough, I found myself going through the intense thing they call recruitment in 2014…

Flash forward to 2015..

And I am on Executive council of my sorority, or “aboard” as the members call it. I think that it’s crazy! Something I was so against, I ended up joining and absolutely loving. I think that the best part of my organization is that it’s
philanthropy goes hand in hand with my passions. Our philanthropy is School and College Readiness, which partners with 1.) Practice Makes Perfect and 2.)The Kids In Need Foundation

Practice Makes Perfect = Matches academically struggling elementary and middle school scholars with older, high achieving near-peer mentors from the same high-need communities.

Kids In Need Foundation =  Mission to ensure that every child is prepared to learn and succeed by providing free school supplies nationally to students most in need.

 

Throughout my time thus far in Phi Sigma Sigma, I have served as many roles on 
Executive Council as well as Executive Board. Currently I hold the position as 
Scribe on eboard. The past semesters, I have held the positions of Diversity 
chair, Fundraising chair, Community Service chair, Leadership Development Chair, 
and Fall 2014 New Member Class Philanthropy chair on Executive Council. I have 
gained a lot of professional development through these positions, as well as 
personal growth.

emm.jpg

em

emmm.jpg

I FACEDTIMED WITH THE PRESIDENT SAY WHAAAAT!!??

NO, I did not FaceTime Obama…

BUT, President Ross Attended My Leadership Class

And President Ross Rocks!!!

Seriously though, he is the man!

So, I was extremely excited for the president of my university to come into my LDR100 class and personally meet each of us. The date was on my calendar and I was counting down the classes until he would come in to talk to us. The weekend before he was scheduled to come in, my great grandmother passed away, and I left Mt. Pleasant to go to Wisconsin. My great grandmother was an amazing lady and it was really hard to deal with in my family. I forgot about the whole President Ross deal when that stuff happened, but I had been keeping in contact with my roommates back at CMU, and they mentioned how excited they were. “Holy crap I am going to miss it!!” I thought, and I was really disappointed. But guess what? My roommates and LAS cohort is awesome! They knew it was important to me, and didn’t want me to miss it either, so they surprised me with a FaceTime right as the president was walking into my classroom. I was so happy! It was really cool to hear the president directly address us Leadership Advancement students and talk about our questions and concerns regarding CMU. He told us to

Take advantage of your resources here at Central”

“On occasion, rare opportunity will present itself”.

He spoke about always doing the right thing 

“And at the end of the day, it’s all about integrity.” 

I could not agree more with all he talked about. I found his story to be very inspiring and I think that he is an extremely smart, wise man. Definitely someone to look up to! He gave great advice. I am so glad that I was able to listen to him speak. Shoutout to Chloe and Taylor! Want to know the best part of the whole experience? I got to “meet” him!!! WHOOO! He picked up the laptop that was FaceTiming me and actually talked to me! It was really freaking cool!

I have to say, I do not know many people that go to a university or college of over 22,000 and they have a personal relationship with their president! I am so lucky!! Central Michigan is a great school and the fact that they are dedicated to forming personal relationships between faculty and students makes it the very best! 

FIRE UP CHIPS! Thanks President Ross for visiting to our class!

IMG_6744

IMG_6745

(The laptop is “me” and this was taken when he talked to me)

COM267

Debate with Leadership:

“Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.”
-Brian Tracy

When I saw COM267 “Debate” on my first semester schedule, I was not very happy about it. I was excited for my first year of college to begin, but I was not too thrilled about taking a debate class. I was not fond of the idea about arguing in front of a class. I felt very underprepared, as I had never even done an in class debate, while many kids had taken a debate class in high school. I even went to the extent of trying get out of it, and I looked for an easier communication class that I could fill my requirement with. I later learned that COM267 was apart of the Leadership Advancement Scholarship protocol, and I had no choice but to suck it up. I am now glad that I went through with it, because in order to grow as a person, you must be willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when trying something new. I am thankful that LAS pushed me to take something I was not necessarily found of. I believe that I gained some very useful life skills throughout this course, as I developed my debate, public speaking and persuasive writing.

In this class I learned some of the history of rhetoric, also known as the art of persuasion, which emerged from fifth century Greece. I was also educated on the various types of debates and their history, such as the Lincoln Douglas and Presidential Debates. I learned about the people that contributed to debate throughout history such as Chris Hedges, Walter Lippmann and Guy Debord. I also learned important elements of an argument (claim and reasons) along with how to identify the propositions of fact, value and policy.

I think that being able to argue your beliefs and opinions and stand up for what you believe in is incredibly important in life. Being well equipped with skills of debate and public speaking can be beneficial when entering the workforce and looking for a job. Having the knowledge of how to persuade others can make you much more marketable as well. As a leader, I think that debate class helped me to think out of the box and become more educated on issues in the world around me. I also learned how to better express my opinions. I think that all students in the United States should be required to take a debate class. I think that is a essential, important skill to have in order to be able to contribute to society. I really did develop my knowledge on the foundational principles of argumentation and debate, in a formalized and fun, yet competitive environment, when I learned how to engage and think critically in this class.

As mentioned previously, I was pretty terrified of the idea of a debate before this semester. I was surprised at that once you started doing them, it got easier and more comfortable. The first debate we did I was shaking and sweating up in front of the class, I was so nervous. When Audi and I were working on our first Parliamentary Debate, she had to give me along pep talk that I could do it and to not psych myself out. I didn’t think I would ever get to the point of being comfortable doing it. I now know how to properly argue a point and how to support it with evidence in the right way.

Overall, I think that I learned a lot of helpful life skills in this debate class. I improved my writing skills as I did reflections, I improved my public speaking skills with the formal debates, and I learned how to critically think and develop my opinion about things, through class discussions. I enjoyed learning the history of the people that developed debate, and through understanding that, I was able to easier understand the reasons for certain ways and techniques of arguing. Although I was extremely scared and nervous coming into this class, I am very glad I took it.

images          il_570xN.352153297

 

 

images

 

“Developing excellent communication skills is absolutely essential to effective leadership. The leader must be able to share knowledge and ideas to transmit a sense of urgency and enthusiasm to others. If a leader can’t get a message across clearly and motivate others to act on it, then having a message doesn’t even matter.”
— Gilbert Amelio

Mentor/Mentee

I am so lucky!

Along with all of the other perks of being a Leadership Advancement Scholar at CMU, you receive a sophomore mentor to help you begin your college journey.

I cannot begin to describe how thankful I am to have received Megan McGillis as a mentor. Jumping into a school of 22,000 can be a little nerve racking, but Megan made my transition nothing but smooth. From answering all of my college questions, sending me sweet notes and presents, to taking me out to lunch when I was having a bad day, she was hands down an awesome mentor. Throughout the semester, we became very close and she always had my back. She is reliable, trustworthy, smart, hilarious, inspiring, beautiful and so much more. I am so lucky we got paired together!

Megan and I share so many of the same qualities, I find it a little strange how similar we are. Not only do we have a lot of the same beliefs, views and passions, but we have similar majors and share the same weird sense of humor. Megan has encouraged me to get involved on campus and to explore different student organizations, for example, she helped me to get involved with greek life. Next semester Megan and I are going through training to become apprentices and bible study leaders, together. Megan is not only a mentor, she is a best friend. I am glad my Leadership Advancement Scholarship (LAS) gave me an opportunity to get to know such an amazing person!

When you receive a mentor in LAS, you also receive a family tree. Megan once had a mentor, who has a mentor, and so on. Not only do I have an incredible mentor, but my family tree is out of this world! My G mentor, Janelle McLaughlin, and my GG mentor, Molly Macgillivray, are two of the best young women. As with Megan, I share many similarities and life goals. I think that they are very inspiring people. They have given me great advice and I have loved getting to know them as well. I like to think of them as older sisters.

Megan, Janelle and Molly are most definitely some of my role models, and I am thankful to have them as “family” and “mentors”.

GetAttachment.aspx

“Surround yourself with people who push you,

who challenge you

who make you laugh

who make you better

who make you happy”


Mentor/Mentee Retreat

Location: Eagle Village in Hersey, Michigan

Purpose: To grow in your leadership skills and build a meaningful relationship with your mentor and 2013/2014  LAS cohort.

I was extremely excited to get a weekend away from school! It was still the beginning of the semester, and I was still feeling overwhelmed with adjustments. Along with that, I got to bond with my awesome mentor and new LAS classmates.

About 80 Leadership Advancement Scholars arrived at Eagle Village on a Saturday morning. We did not all know each other. Half of the people there were new freshmen, like me. After that weekend of getting to know each other over playing survival games, doing ropes courses, sitting around a camp fire, and other bonding activities, we left as more of a family, and less of just a “cohort”.

The Leadership Institute at CMU, is very big on Meaningful Relationships. When school gets tough, I am glad to know that I have my leadership families to lean on.

Megan and I bonded over developing our leadership abilities. We completed a challenging high ropes course together. Along the way, we had to come up with new ways to go along the course, in which we had to depend on each other. When you are forced to completely trust another person, you are most likely to grow your relationship.

I really enjoyed getting to know some of the people in LAS that I had never talked to previously. Lauren Lyon and her mentor Cassie, were apart of Megan and I ‘s small group for the weekend. At one point, we had to complete a survival course, by carrying a sled, and we could not touch the ground. This silly activity improved our critical thinking and communication skills, and helped us to form relationships as well.

Eagle Village was a great time, not only to get away, but to build friendships and learn new things

10624871_10102531336937498_7297215580040785329_n 10614318_10102531342855638_1327545661949466456_n