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

RLF Recap: Personality Assessments with Professor Sargent

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Class of 2020 Rockefeller Leadership Fellows at the Fall 2019 Retreat

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During the 2019 Fall Retreat, the Rockefeller Leadership Fellows had the opportunity to hear from Jennifer Sargent, a Visiting Associate Professor of Writing at Dartmouth College. Professor Sargent’s session revolved around using our individual strengths for effective professional communication. In order to better understand our own strengths and natural communication styles, all students took the MBTI Assessment, or Myers Briggs Type Indicator Assessment, to get a sense of our differing personalities, decision-making preferences, and general approaches to life. We used this information to explore our communication strengths, and the areas where we typically fall short. We also learned how best to communicate with people of different MBTI types, a highly useful skill in future workplaces that will surely be diverse. More specifically, we learned how to communicate to ensure others can listen to us best and we practiced techniques for delivering information effectively. 

The topics that this session addressed have had a direct impact on every Fellow’s leadership skills. Given the fact that we will all be communicating and collaborating with a diverse set of people with a large range of work styles for the rest of our lives, building a toolkit to be able to best identify and align with many types is highly useful. Additionally, we will all have supervisors, and given the importance of learning how to strategically and respectfully ‘manage up’, these are helpful skills to be able to do that. And lastly, given the large variety of personality types within our cohort itself, being able to learn these differences about each other and practice effective communication has both strengthened the bonds within the cohort and helped us create a more impactful experience. And personally, I gained a lot of value from this session by being able to reflect upon my own strengths and weaknesses and think critically about how to leverage them in interpersonal situations. I look forward to applying them to my own leadership challenges and bettering my communication style.

-Written by Roshni Dugar, Class of 2020 Rockefeller Leadership Fellow

As Rockefeller Leadership Fellows, seniors gain a better understanding of the qualities and responsibilities expected of leaders. As Fellows take part in the workshops, dinner discussions, and team-building exercises, they examine their skills, qualities, and attributes as leaders and analyze how these influence teamwork and achieving goals. 

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