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

RGLP Recap: Understanding Identity with Dottie Morris (2)

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This is a session recap of the Rockefeller Global Leadership Program (RGLP) from a participant's perspective.

Dottie Morris explains the impact of self-identification on interactions with others. Photo by Philip Son '16.

Every time I walk away from one of these sessions, I find myself thinking about interactions in new light, whether it is the interactions in my own life (i.e. among peers, with professors) or the interactions I imagine others in positions of power have on a daily basis. Tonight’s session with Dottie Morris was no different, and yet I think it was the most impactful so far for me personally, because it gave me a reason to think more deeply about the things that I convey to the people with whom I interact.

It’s one of those underlying questions that you only ask in the far reaches of your mind when you’re in a room full of people you do not know and put in new situations: how well do I really know these people? It isn’t a question that is particularly important in most classes and doesn’t really come up all that often within most close friend groups, which is perhaps why most people tend to merely “go with the flow” and get to know everyone later or next week. I actually hadn’t seriously thought about it until Ms. Morris had us tell each other the things that we hope to convey to the people we meet. While consciously making assumptions when we know we’ll have to admit to them may have made me very uncomfortable at first, I found this a particularly powerful exercise in not only getting to know the members of the cohort better, but also in better understanding that we truly are, as Ms. Morris said, “summations of all the people that we’ve met.”

The exercise was effective in reinforcing the article that we read in preparation, especially the notion that we must understand that while we have an idea of who we are, that idea is colored by the ways that those around us perceive and judge us, and that this has a powerful effect on our ability to lead others.

-Written by Johnny Sanchez '18, Fall 2015 RGLP participant

This ongoing series explores sessions of the Rockefeller Global Leadership Program (RGLP) through participant narratives. RGLP engages Dartmouth students who have demonstrated leadership skills and would like to extend these skills on a globally conscious level. In this program, students focus on and further develop international leadership competencies, which have become increasingly crucial in corporate, public and non-profit sectors today.

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