Leadership Skills & Mentoring
Leadership skills are not always taught in class, but they are very important in professional settings outside of college. Self-awareness is one of the most important skills to develop, as Tanmora Vora discusses in his article, “The Indispensable Traits of a Collaborative Leader.” This involves a continuous growth and understanding of one’s strengths, weaknesses, values and attitudes. Building self-awareness is important because it empowers confidence and authority in leaders (Vora). Once an individual grasps awareness of herself, she more easily can be aware and empathetic toward other people she works with. And if leaders have a good understand of the people on their team, they can better allocate talent based on strengths and weaknesses. These leadership skills in turn create a strong team dynamic.
Another important ability within and outside of college, is to gain advice and knowledge from mentors. Mentors can be individuals who you look up to, people you work with, professionals in other fields, etc. Successful mentorships arise when you gain beneficial insights and knowledge for your professional career and personal life. Mentors have a wealth of expertise to share. Therefore, they are important for young professionals who have little experience outside of college and are just getting started in pursuing their careers.
Lastly, giving feedback is an important skill to achieve. While it is often a daunting and unpleasant task, feedback can improve workplace relationships and increase productivity when done well. As Carole Robins says, “feedback is a gift.” To provide good feedback, one must be generous, avoid shaming the other person, focus on changing the behavior of a co-worker not his personality, and say it early (Peterson). Most importantly, feedback does not always have to be negative. If you make an effort to identify positive attributes about co-workers, it is much easier to share negative critiques later on. By having an awareness of oneself, seeking mentorships, and giving proper feedback to people around, will greatly improve one’s leadership quality and skills.
Application in Class
Some critical features of this class are to improve our leadership skills and gain knowledge from mentors while studying abroad in the Netherlands. I think this trip will provide a great opportunity for me to improve myself while working on a collaborative group project and gaining insight from experienced individuals on our bike tour. The leadership qualities that I gain now will be crucial for my later career.
Meyer, Erin. “Giving Negative Feedback Across Cultures.” INSEAD Knowledge, 16 Sept. 2015, knowledge.insead.edu/blog/insead-blog/giving-negative-feedback-across-cultures-4259.
Peterson, Deborah. “Carole Robin: Feedback Is a Gift.” Stanford Graduate School of Business, 27 Nov. 2013, www.gsb.stanford.edu/insights/carole-robin-feedback-gift.
Vora, Tanmay. “Indispensable Traits of a Collaborative Leader: Part 3.” QAspire, 11 May 2014, www.qaspire.com/2014/05/11/indispensable-traits-of-a-collaborative-leader-part-3/.