In June Staff Council members were treated to a development exercise from Dale Carnegie Training. Typically training sessions like these are more in depth (weeks long) so the hour + session members were treated to was just a taste of the types of training that Dale Carnegie typically offers. I personally felt it was a really great experience and I would definitely recommend it to others that may need to put things in perspective especially in the current world wide economic climate these days.
Strengths & Weaknesses:
The exercises started out by having the Staff Council members list all the strengths of RIT. After completing the list it really made everyone think that wow RIT really is an awesome place to work -I think sometimes we forget that. Below are the strengths we listed:
Diversity, People, Students, Staff, Community, Brand, Technology, Innovation, Leadership, Shared -Governance, Reputation, Adaptability, Service, Benefits, Facilities, Quality Education, Programs, Coop, International Presence, and Pride.
Next we moved on to RIT’s perceived weaknesses. This list was not nearly as long as the strengths.
Parking (-sorry Randy! :), the need for more communication, and the much evident –“too much change”.
What was neat about this exercise was that we could have started with the weaknesses- but by starting off with the strengths really set the mood and once you see all the strengths and the pride that it evoked in the room it was really hard to rattle of anything negative about a place we all clearly love.
Next we examined our comfort zones. What are you comfortable with? What makes you uneasy? What is difficult for you? For the difficult part -most people ended up saying the same thing- speaking in general; whether it be speaking up in a meeting or the fear of having to do a public speaking presentation. It was neat to see that most people had the same fear.
Again we started with what we were good at and the lesson we learned was that you really need to learn and to take the time to practice and to develop the skills that will help you succeed including having the right attitude then you can overcome those fears- it’s really common sense if you think about it.
Qualities of a Good Leader:
Next as we had done recently when we met with Molly McGown from the Leadership Institute we were asked to identify what we thought made a great leader. Below are our answers and I couldn’t help but think of our senior leaders when all these terms came to mind.
positive, strategic, integrity, compassion, idea/risk taker, approachable, educated, open minded, personable, confident, curious, interesting, well -liked, fun, fair, thinks outside the box, says yes, ability to say no, responsible, perfectionist, disciplined, determined, talker, thinker, makes everything seem easy
After we came up with the list we were asked to categorize each quality by deciding whether the quality was based on a leader’s skill, knowledge, or attitude. Most of the qualities we listed it became overwhelmingly evident that attitude really is a key to being a successful leader.
Talk to Anyone/Anywhere:
The last exercise was probably the one that most members liked the most and felt that they would really be able to use. It was a memory exercise to cue us in to being able to speak to almost anyone. It’s based on the reality that we all have parallel lives-- we all live somewhere, we all have family, we all work, we all have hobbies or play/like sports and we all love a great vacation- so when you are meeting people anywhere anytime if you stick to these subjects you can always have something to talk about. Again you need to practice your approach so you become confident and it becomes natural or second nature.
Again I would definitely recommend Dale Carnegie Training to any dept or individual in the community that would like to learn more about how to become not only a successful leader but how to be successful in everything you do.
(Thanks again to Dr. Kevin MacDonald for connecting us with Dale Carnegie Training.)