In February 2015, BSL welcomed the charismatic team of Elena Kaplun and Simon Parker from the International Young Leaders Club (Geneva) who were kind enough to conduct a practical, exciting, and thought provoking workshop which aimed at the development of 3 skills; self-awareness, skillset, and leadership. With tactful people skills, warm personalities, and a wealth of expertise, Elena and Simon brought a highly enjoyable and thoroughly beneficial learning experience to all students and faculty that participated.
On a day-to-day basis, be it with friends, family, or professional colleagues, it’s no secret that communication can often seem like a nightmare of a challenge. How can one person say something with the best of intensions, however, what the recipient hears may be seen as arrogant, distant, cold, and sometimes, even an outright attack on another’s identity?
Elena & Simon brought an interesting approach in which workshop participants take a survey before attending to receive personality data on the participants. This data will break each participants personality into one of several exaggerated personality types, for example, an extrovert, a hustler, a politician, a double checker, an artist, and more.
We began the workshop by hearing which traits an extrovert—for example—would have as part of their core personality and communication style. If we identified that one of our fellow students showed these traits, we would write ‘extrovert’ on a sticky note and place it on them. This brought to light that even if we may disagree, by popular opinion and association, this is the personality and communication style we are projecting into the interpersonal world.
Once learning of the differences in communication styles, we then went on to role playing exercises in which with our new knowledge of our colleagues, we would try to sell them something in a way they would be more receptive. For example, a hustler is more concerned with the flash or status symbol something may present while an artist is much more concerned with the uniqueness and creativity behind something. With this in mind, when selling to a hustler, the focus would be on something that appeals to their need to shine and stand out, likewise, with an artist, something that appeals to their appreciation of creative work or artistic preferences.
As we develop in our personal and professional lives, self-reflection is one of the cornerstones of effective learning and growth, the IYLC workshop was a fantastic way of finding new approaches to building self-awareness and learning how to communicate and work better with others.
Bachelor’s Student at BSL