The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Leadership with Others

D-LAB participants discuss their peers' impacts on their own values (Photo by Hung Nguyen '18)

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The third session of D-LAB shifted the focus from reflecting on one’s own values to the values of our friends and peers, and if and how the people we spend the most time with influence our own values.   

Prior to the session, participants were asked to have a close friend  at Dartmouth select five values that they thought best described the participant . This led to a conversation of whether the values participants selected for themselves matched the ones their friend selected. Subsequently, the conversation diverged to talking about  the fact that context can play a role in this assessment.   For example, a teammate will likely select different values for the participant than a classmate. 

Our small groups then pondered the question: Do you share the same values as your friends? Each group discussed how friends impact our individual values and if there is a difference between high school and college friends. Many participants offered that college friends come from a variety of backgrounds, which makes their experience and viewpoints different from their own.      

Finally, groups were asked to reflect upon a quote by Jim Rohn, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” The groups then addressed the validity of the quote, and spoke about the impacts and effects friends have. The participants in my group were ambivalent about the quote, and did not feel like it rang entirely true. They felt that their fundamental interests and values remained consistent to themselves, and that those closest to them do not drastically change those values.

Submitted by Rachel Inman '19, D-LAB participant

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