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

RLF Recap: Leadership, Personal Development, and the Feedback Cycle

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Professor Betsy Winslow encouraged us to think of leadership in its different forms and functions.  Fellows were invited to volunteer examples in which they had either witnessed or participated in a moment of leadership.

As we listened to the variety of situations offered, we collected words that characterized each testimony.  These words fit within Professor Winslow’s framework of the four kinds of leadership: directive, supportive, participative, and achievement-oriented.

Questions from the Fellows helped us to clarify ways in which we could apply the lessons learned to specific situations faced in leadership roles.  Fellow Elizabeth Hoffman asks how to negotiate the line between friendship and leadership, a situation that often arises in the workplace.  Fellow Danny Freeman asked how to strike a productive balance if there are two leaders in a group, learning that it is good to communicate the strengths of both individuals in order to maximize efficiency and make use of localized strengths.

The talk culminated in an exercise of giving and receiving feedback, in which the Fellows took either the  position of a senior member of a company or a manager.  We learned effective methods of communication; to think of the message we want to get across first, and work strategically in order to make sure that the message is heard and received.

-Molly Hassell '13

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