Leadership 101: “What To Do About Disagreement” Reflection

In this course, I learned that disagreement is based on more than just someone thinking differently from me. Sitting with this conclusion, I rarely ever considered trying to figure out why other people may think differently from me. In the rare occasions that I did, I considered their way of life growing up, and their life experiences as…different from mine. That was as far as I would go. Though after completing this course, I learned the value in digesting those differences based on logic, ethics, science, and happiness. In many cases (but not every single one) it is important to understand people’s different way of thinking because, without understanding, you can be left to a whole world of unknown. From this, I also learned that dealing with disagreement can empower leadership.

Being a leader is more than just being the general voice or image of an entire group. To me, leadership is shown when someone is able to listen to the inputs and ideas of others in order to better the group as a whole, and not for their own benefit. Curiosity is a component of leadership, and I think it is important to be curious and informative about people. From what I’ve learned in this course when a disagreement arises, a leader will be able to comprehend multiple angles of a situation as more than just simple opposing views. A leader will be able to understand the deeper meanings that underlie each individual’s thought process and beliefs of opposing sides. Dealing with such disagreements that may arise in the subjects of ethics, science, and/or happiness, are relevant to leadership because they are subjects that are sort of taboo, especially in a more professional-like setting. I believe that once these subjects are explained and thought out, teams in any setting will be more likely to succeed based on their knowledge of their individual understandings.

The course content enabled me to further develop several skills: analytical, writing, comprehension, public speaking, and communication skills. We had several readings in the class that were a bit intimidating, not so much because they were college-level reading material, but because they were college-level reading material and philosophy based. And because the readings had a follow-up test based on our knowledge of them, analyzing the information and comprehending what I was reading was crucial. They also served as great examples of how to write my own arguments when the time came for submitting papers. Using what I wrote in my papers, I also was able to generate my ideas from paper to a presentation. Public speaking allowed me to convey my understanding and way of thinking to an audience with the help of visual aids. And because many of the assignments in the class were centered around teamwork, conveying my messages to my audience for presentations was not too difficult. I practiced my communication skills with my team members where I gave my input, took a listen to theirs, and then helped digest the information for everyone in the group to understand.

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