Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Listening, Strangers, and Styles

Today was so eventful that it felt like everything happened over a series of days instead in just one day.

With a few hours of sleep and a few bites of breakfast, I headed to the Solomon Hall for the effective listening worship with Ms. Kisa. The workshop was amazing! I learned about the necessity and importance of effective listening in leadership. Effective listening makes the path for collaboration, a sense of inclusion, and brings out the best potential of others. According to the workshop, there are a few key values of effective listening. Applying positive nonverbal communications, asking open-ended questions, summarizing discussions for clarity, and giving feedback. I also learned the difference between debating with someone and having a conversation with someone while disagreeing with them. The way Ms. Kisa presented the workshop helped me stay engaged and learn these valuable skills while having fun during practice discussions with people around me. I made another friend in the workshop. Her name is Ananya, a rising senior from New Delhi, India. It was wonderful talking to her about issues ranging from Bollywood to feminism to abortion. 

After the amazing workshop, I went to eat at Chipotle with my new friends, Jennifer, Camile, Ananya, and Ishaani. It was amazing seeing how everyone is attempting to help each other out and make connections. Jennifer is interested in working in the UN and Ananya has an uncle who works in the UN. Ananya promised to get Jennifer in contact with her uncle for an internship. It reminds me of how the ILC teaches its students to develop that important skill. 

At 1:00 PM, we went to our classroom in which Tina discussed the importance of social networking, how to make it a skill, and how to become comfortable with walking up to strangers and having a conversation with them. This skill didn't make me too anxious as I have gotten some practice developing this skill while attending the various milestones in the Ivy League Connection. Thank you so much ILC for pushing me out of my shyness and making me feel more comfortable talking to new people. 

After this prep, Tina led us to the Underground in the Information Center to meet some amazing women who work in Brown. I got the opportunity to meet the dean of Brown, several assistant deans, and other women changing the lives of many students while being in powerful positions. I used the skills I learned in my effective listening workshop to keep the conversation flowing and find out more information. It touched my heart when these important, inspiring women were not only interested in answering my questions, but also learning more about me.  After the meet and greet, they all left and as a class, we discussed how these women serve as symbols that people in power are also human and aren't the stereotypical image of a cold leader we may imagine them to have. 

After a half hour break began a workshop introducing the four different types of leadership styles. The workshop was lead my TA Christine and another Brown student, Skenda. Like everything else I have done in the past two days, this workshop was also fun, interactive, and an amazing learning experience about myself, my peers, and the society. In the workshop, we were introduced to four leadership styles: north, south, east, and west. The north style involves being assertive and decisive, loving challenges, and having an "I will do it" mindset. The south style is of a team player who is willing to listen to everyone and collaborate ideas. The east leadership style is of a visionary who looks at the big picture, loves to explore with new ideas, and is optimistic. On the other hand, the west style is focused on being practical, dependable, analyzing lots of data, and weighing all sides of an issue. We not only focused on the pros of these leadership styles, but we also analyzed their cons. I found out that although I consider myself assertive, I have more of a south leadership style as I like listening to everyone's ideas and not shutting them down. While doing the workshop, I realized that I  was relating to all the styles and it was very hard for me to choose in all the situations I had to decide to be on one specific side. 
A bit of how my class looks.
Casually caught Aimee taking photos.
The amazing and inspiring Christine and Skenda.
Time flew by very quickly and around 5:00 PM, the workshop ended. I asked Christine and Skenda about their experience at Brown, what their concentrations are, how was it transitioning from their high school to Brown, and any advice they would give me. Christine and Skenda were so amazing. They answered all my questions and further convinced me to apply to Brown and try my best in being as me as I could in the application. Skenda is a part of PLME, Brown's liberal medical education program which guarantees a spot in its medical school and enables a student to graduate as a doctor in eight years. A discouraging factor is that the acceptance rate of the program is about to two to three percent. However, I will definitely apply and give it my best shot. 

After being enthralled my Skenda and Christine's wonderful experiences and opinions about Brown, I headed to the  Ratty for dinner. I then went to the SciLi to start on my five readings. The rest of night consisted of reading, blogging, working on an essay due Thursday, and doing laundry in the middle of the night. I wonder what tomorrow awaits, until then I need to catch up on sleep. 

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