- A reflection on your growth as a leader at American University this past academic year:
Leadership is a ever evolving facet of our personalities with changes spurred by certain experiences and lessons. The Leadership Program this year proved to be a particularly experience and learning environment in which I was able to grow my capacities as a leader through a hands-on social action project. Not only did it help me encounter a variety of situations and experiences – both comfortable and challenging – that come with any leadership role, it also immersed me in a long-term project with a team allowing me to learn how to navigate the dynamics of working in a team and accomplishing collective goals. I have learnt how to take charge when there is a leadership vacuum in a group setting and bring everyone together to restore an effective and communicative environment for the team and keeping track of the progress made. I feel like over the past year I have improved my ability to negotiate and communicate with a team, create an efficient working dynamic with my team mates and work through disagreements and differences of opinion to focus on achieving the overall aims of the group.
- A reflection on the team dynamics of your group during the implementation phase of your project:
Over the first 4 months of working as a team on the research elements of our project, we developed a comfortable and open working relationship built on shared passion in our area of work. It also helped us to develop trust in areas like division of tasks and deadlines. This came in really handy during the implementation phase of our project because we had created an efficient and effective working space for ourselves where we were able to collectively navigate through the roadblocks that we faced during the implementation of our project including issues with our partner organization, missed deadlines for fundraising efforts and miscommunication. I feel like these problems could have really damaged the team dynamic without the trust-building and open communication system we had built for ourselves over the course of a year working together.
While working in the team wasn’t without its road-bumps, I feel like the overall experience led to a positive end with the accomplishment of the team’s collective goals and the improvement of our skills in time-management, adaptation and situational awareness and team work.