Well, this one is not exactly going to be about Johnny Cash, but rather about the difficulty of keeping the balance in emotional situations when dealing with others. The past weekend has again shown me a lot about this and those are experiences I do not want to miss!
Some days ago I told you about my experience in chairing a conference in Denmark – this time I chaired a conference in Germany for the Local Committees of Kaiserslautern and Karlsruhe for their new members and some more experienced ones with about 80 delegates.
As I mentioned in the previous article, the job of a chair is to keep the overall mood, provide inspiration and personal challenge and ensure the flow of the agenda.
This was even more a particular challenge now since there were new
members who should pick up the passionate AIESEC spirit, but not be blasted away by too much of it in the very beginning. 🙂 Yet it should also provide input for the more established members who came some time later (at different times, so they heard only some parts of your messages and not all of it). It definitely tests your empathy and improvisation skills!
I think it mostly worked in my case, since I rather focused on opportunities to live out and implementing ideas when you challenge yourself and the status quo – all flavored with some personal experiences covering those aspects and some improvisation when the unplanned happened – like African wedding dances for everyone. 😉
I also remembered that you have to set clear expectations and reasoning behind your speeches. People have to get your motivation for what you want to explain them first. Even in big audiences you can always still ask for a thumb check of how many actually are still on your thought train and interested.
Some other AIESEC traditions make way more sense when they are explained properly and still they are not necessarily passionately followed by everyone. So you have to be not too pushy but still provide enough insight.
Give some practical examples – actions speak louder than words. Even if somebody is sceptical at first – a lot of motivated people in the audience still convince others quite often. They might also not have had a clear impression about it at first. And they have more specific and clear feedback to give you! 🙂
And eventually there were not only the delegates to keep in mind, but also integrating the other teams that are hard working for the conference and are in other emotional (thought) processes themselves, E.g. the organizing team (mainly taking care of logistics and materials overall), very experienced and very new facilitators / trainers and the executive boards still having their say for the content. This was a little more diverse and challenging than the last time.
That is what e.g. leadership is also about in addition to management – finding the right balance, inspiring, supporting and developing people to achieve more than they did before by not only setting incentives and rules but also empowering, trusting and supporting them. In such cases you can really see that you change perceptions and up to even lives – when you provide orientation when people are leaving their comfort zones.
Do not only be loud but also listen when you do not actively talk to catch moods and impressions. When you talk you can not really listen at the same time, right? 😉
Actually (without knowing it but just stumbling over it this week) I already followed several of the traits of Transformational Leadership. 🙂
But to really get people going: Believe in yourself, your potential and the power of ideas. And what experiences abroad but also life abroad taught me: it will always work out somehow. Do not plan for certainties and fulfilling goals / limits but keep life interesting and live your dreams! That is what I do now!
“It is not what it is but what you make out of it! ~me”
This weekend was another challenge and an intense learning experience yet again – thank you to everybody who provided me the opportunity and the pleasure to work with you in this weekend! It is a memory to keep for sure and I am looking forward to more like these. 😉