Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Lessons Learned Together

I just finished grading the final reflection papers for our class. I love my students! My students aren't at a brother/sister relationship, but they are people that I care about a lot. All I want to see is them succeed and grow.

From there papers I saw three major themes that they learned from the class as a whole:
1) Servant Leader-leading isn't the man in front but the man willing to work
(PS-the word serve, or any derivative of it, was used 64 times in their papers)
2) Time-as college students, life is hectic and I feel that everyone picked one thing that they could do better to get more balance in there life
3) Hawthorne Effect-seeing others how they can become

Quotes from students papers:
"For me, this drove home the point that I need to be the kind of person I want those following me to be..."
"We each can serve as leaders and grow together because of a good experience;"
"I tried to really focus on the Savior and how he would serve them."
"The smiles on their faces is something that will stick out to me from this semester..."
"Being nice to people has made me so much happier this semester."
"We all have something to offer no matter how small it may seem to be at the time."
"I learned that a team must be totally and completely unified in purpose and desire in order for setbacks to be conquered."
"Patience and self application must come first before we can begin to try to influence others."
"Service is something that always makes me feel happier in life."
"There was work involved but I never felt like it was a chore."
"In servant leadership a person is more of a facilitator...You are a facilitator of good things like utilizing talents, uplifting people and helping everyone reach a common goal."
"This leadership course has given me more confidence in myself to be a great leader."

Gems I took from their papers:

-Did you meet your original plan? No, but you accomplished what you really wanted-We sometimes let the specifics over shadow what we really want. Remember Why-What-How? In other words we start to think the how is what we want and forget the why. We get frustrated when the how doesn't go to plan or we meet opposition along the way to OUR how, but the best part is when you get to the end you actually accomplish the why, just in a different way.

-Facilitating is letting someone act. Not giving the load or burden, but room and time to think and act.
-Just about everyone said this was there favorite class or one of there most inspirational classes-My only comment is, if it really has left such an impression, take the glimmers from you reflections and make some goals around them so you don't loose your desire.

-A leader starts by leading his own life.

-"Provo is our home while we are here'progress isn't given all at once."- I have a tough time with Provo, when I come back from Arkansas and Boston, two places that will probably be better, I'm going to focus on making Provo my home while I'm here. :)

-Almost every group faced opposition in there project, that's when leadership qualities came out and were applied. That's when learning took place.

-Seeing who people can become doesn't precede the effort and work it takes to get there

-Optimism isn't always instant. We can recognize and be upset about what is happening, but we think through it for ourselves, then we can choose to be affected or move forward

-My favorite thing was seeing learners becoming the teacher. I just love seeing my students doing what I did. I'm just like them. I'm a student at BYU. I'm trying to be a better person. I want to be happy. I just was blessed to share my story and leadership principles from my perspective, then in class or in there groups it was there turn to shine. My only regret is not getting to watch them shine in there groups.

-In reading the papers I saw the words "I think", "I feel", "I learned", and different variations of those terms. What was cool is a thought I had about I think/feel vs I learned. I think/feel is more theory based. It is knowledge presented that is desired or hoped for in an individuals life. It isn't applied or understood knowledge. I learned is something that has been applied. It is something that one has experienced or seen and knows that it makes a difference.

I wish my students the best graduating, going on missions, and those continuing on in school! Good luck friends!

Stay tuned for the Summertrain 2013!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

CONFLICT-Good or Bad?

Have you ever had sour patch kids! They are sweet and they are sour. Sound a little like conflict? I think so!

Have you ever gone through these 
and then found one of these
Yeah, not every day do you find a Swedish Fish in a bag of Sour Patch Kids. I just want you to imagine how great this experience is. Sour Patch Kids are my FAVORITES! I could eat them for days and days and days (until I my tongue gets burnt out). I'm very familiar with the looks of them; big head, mini body. One day as I was eating away, I found a fish in my bag! Not any fish, but a Swedish Fish! It wasn't like the one above. It was covered in the sour powder! I wanted to eat it so bad, but when's the last time you got one of those. So I kept it. That was 3 years ago and I still have it!

What does this have to do with conflict? A wise men once told me, "There is a lot of fish in the sea!" That was after things didn't go so well with a girl, but he was right. There are a lot of fish in the sea, but there aren't a lot of Sour Sweedish Fish and when you find one you want to hold on to it. 

Sooooo, there is this girl. She's great! She is so nice. She is fun and funny. She is spiritual. She is pretty. She's the whole thing! You don't meet a girl like that every day (name that movie)! I went on another date with her this last Saturday. We went to the Jazz game and then went back to her place and just chilled for a little bit. When I was driving home that night from Salt Lake City, I had a lot of time to think about the date and this girl. It really hit me: NOT A LOT OF "FISH" LIKE THAT IN THE SEA! I really like her and I felt like she needed to know, but you know what that means.......CONFLICT. 

Now you be the judge of whether conflict is GOOD or BAD. I'm going to relate the account with no bias, you decide. Then I will reveal what strategy I ended up using in the conflict:

I let her know we needed to talk. I was planning on driving up to Salt Lake Monday night. She ended up coming down to Provo. She picked me up. We drove around talked about some fun April Fools Day things then parked the car and started to talk. After a little introduction I came right out and told her I liked her a lot! I think she is awesome. It's not every day that you get to meet a girl like her. Then I asked her how she felt. She said she felt the same. She said she really liked me and that I'm the kind of guy she is looking for; however, right now a relationship is not right. She said she just doesn't know where she stands. The fact that she has just got back from a mission 3 months ago, she doesn't know how to deal with all of "this". The whole dating scene seems scary and she isn't really ready to jump into everything. I told her if she was willing I would be 100% in today, but seeing how she isn't it makes me feel good as well that I don't have to rush anything and neither does she, but I would be willing to wait until she feels comfortable. Then she said I shouldn't "wait" for her. We should just keep being friends. She doesn't want to ruin a friendship that we have. She didn't want to disappoint me. Which I really appreciate, but I said, it's all a risk no matter which way you slice it. We both know we like each other and where ever it goes now, one of us might be disappointed with the ending, but that shouldn't keep us from trying. As we talked we knew it was CLEAR that neither of us felt comfortable diving into anything, but (from my perspective) I feel that she was leery about dating in general and I felt like I was ready to date but it was bad timing. 


Now in conversation we definitely made a compromise. 

Compromise-suggests workable middle-ground positions. When win-win can not be found, compromisers suggest acceptable temporary solutions. Their style is helpful in finding fair workable settlements. 
I think this was good. I didn't feel like one or the other needed a solid answer that night nor do I feel it would have been right to make a decision or dig deeper. We scratched the surface and compromised that we liked each other and should keep hanging out. 

The unsettled terms of the future, only time will tell. I don't know how she envisions the future or how she will chose to resolve the conflict of dating in her own personal life, but I have chosen at this time to be an Accommodater. 

Accommodater-compassion and generosity can serve an important interpersonal relations role--as a kind of shock absorber for the group when it undergoes stress. Accommodaters help to maintain goodwill and trust. They provide psychological support and a sympathetic ear and can serve as peace makers to restore harmony. Their style helps soothe hurt feelings and resentment. I'm going to be a friend. Whatever she needs, I'll be there for her. 

I will be 100% honest, it wasn't easy to choose to be an accommodater. It was a decision that had to be made. It was either accommodater or avoider. Avoiders are sensitive to time expense and stress of conflict issues. Their caution can help steer clear of conflict issues that might take up more time than they merit. This is VERY appealing to me. If you knew some of the things I've been through recently you would choose to be avoider, hands down. You might even think I was stupid if you knew, but something says the past is the past. It's time to try something new, lets accommodate, move forward, and see what the future holds.