What a great and impactful weekend! This was my second Fall retreat as a Humanics scholar and it was a great time filled with fun, team building, and valuable breakout sessions on leadership. The retreat started out with a team building exercise that divided up people into their own personal leadership style. This was a great way to introduce the weekend and highlighted all the different strengths that people bring to leadership. I remember looking around our big make shift square in the open field, and seeing how diverse and spread out we all were. This was encouraging to see and very impactful to me because it reaffirmed how a healthy team needs all sorts of different leadership styles to succeed. I love how Humanics is focused on collaboration and teamwork, and this definitely set the tone for the retreat and upcoming semester.

During the main breakout session led by Mark Ford, it reoccurred to me that conflict is a part of every team. It isn’t something that is bad or good, it’s something that just is. Mr. Ford encouraged us to think of leadership as being the most effective, and that as leaders we need to listen to understand. Another main take away from the session was to not leave the room with assumptions. I must confess that I find myself doing this often, but realized that good and healthy leadership requires clear communication and the ability to adapt as a leader.

And lastly, Dr. Simmons closed the retreat by challenging us to not only work as a team together, but to grow and trust the process (a common slogan in Humanics!). I’m excited for the new groups and teams this semester and look forward to leading well!