March Leadershop Provides Tools to Talk About Identity

SAMMI DYSON | NEWS CORRESPONDENT

On Thursday, March 11, students at SNC were invited to learn how to “lead innovatively and effectively without being a jerk” at a workshop held in the Cassandra Voss Center. The bluntness was intended lightly, but the LeaderShop event, “Future Forecasting: Savvy Leaders and Identity,” did want to talk seriously about being a respectful leader. Participants and facilitators came together and had activities and discussions about identity, and the importance of understanding it, especially in regards to leadership.

A “Leadershop” is part of a new workshop series developed by the LSE Office at St. Norbert College during the fall semester. The workshops follow a format similar to that of an interactive TED Talk, where students and campus leaders come together to describe and discuss contemporary leadership issues.

The first item discussed was the idea that many people are not trained to deal with different aspects of identity the way they should be. With the increasing amount of diversity in many situations, they discussed how vital it is that people understand and respect one another’s identities, especially in positions of leadership. The overall goal of the event was to get people thinking about identities and wanting to be informed about them.

The workshop also highlighted the idea that a person has many different parts which make up his/her identity, and these have an effect both on an individual as a whole and on the other parts of his/her identity as well.

Another theme was intersectionality, or the idea that there is no one experience common to all people who share a certain part of their identity.

The second part of the meeting was more introspective. Participants in attendance were given a chart that listed several identity categories, for example: gender, social class, age and etcetera. They were encouraged to mark different categories based on different questions about parts of their identity. The questions discussed things including parts of one’s identity one felt most and least aware of, which parts were difficult to discuss, and other questions that assisted in learning about themselves and their own knowledge.

The conclusion reached at the end of this workshop was that talking about identity more and more often creates better leaders. Personal identity and the identities of others matter, and can help with relationships and working together.

For more information on Leadershops, contact Quincy Kissack at quincy.kissack@snc.edu or the LSE Office at lse@snc.edu.

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