The readings for this post all focused on aspects of leadership and mentoring. Erin Meyer’s article compared the way people with different cultures give negative feedback. The Dutch are well known for being direct and honest when giving criticism, as opposed to indirect culture of Korea. Americans falls somewhere in between; we learn to give positive and negative feedback together. A second dimension to feedback is the power of words used, with some choosing to use understatement and others being blunt and accurate.
Carole Robin gave a point-by-point guide to giving feedback. The general direction of her advice tends to push leaders to be careful and delicate when giving negative feedback, so the article is most helpful for direct cultures when giving feedback to indirect culture.
Vora did mention feedback, but he also explained how to be a good leader in general with several specific topics. Vora’s take on feedback acknowledged the fact that good leaders should ask for feedback on their own work rather than just critiquing their subordinates.
The University of Washington has an entire series of articles about mentors, with a focus on the university setting. The articles point out that a pure mentor–mentee relationship is often less effective than a network of teachers and peers working together. Students should not rely on one person alone.
I hope that this class will provide opportunities to learn from professionals in the field and to form closer working relationships with grad student and faculty, like Dr. Watkins and the other students in the program. Many of the people I have met this summer could continue to be mentors in the future.