Session 104: Leadership Lessons: Tools to Guide You and Words to Inspire You

Developing strong leaders is vitally important for the future of our profession. Framing the concept of leadership within a change matrix served as the focus of this session. The first presenter was Ann Hodges, who reflected on her time at the University of Texas at Arlington. She offered us several tools and concepts to consider when developing our leadership style:

1. Conflict response- this scale measures how we respond to conflict, using assertiveness and corporation. Within that scale, we can choose one of five responses: competing, collaborating, compromising, accommodating and avoiding. Each of those responses has value depending on the situation and greater context.
2. Take a breath- referred to as your emotional response to a situation or conversation, Hodges emphasized the importance of taking the time to form a non-emotional response.
3. Feedback framework- as a leader, we should consider these prompts when working with others: when you…, the impact you have on me, the project, the team, the organization…, I feel…, Help me understand why…, What I need from you…, Do you need anything from me to… These phrases build upon one another and help leaders to accomplish goals and manage staff.
4. RASIN method for allocating responsibilities- this framework includes allocating people resources considering- responsibilities, authority, support, informed, no involvement- staffing needs.

Brenda McClurken built upon Hodges’s presentation and shared with us steps she took to build trust, after assuming a leadership role in her department. She encouraged staff to share the thoughts that were top of mind, at the start of staff meetings. Most importantly, she emphasized how as a leader, one must not commiserate with staff, but rather be a positive force for change.

Finally, Lisa Mix from the New York Presbyterian/ Weill Cornell Medical Center spoke about her time as the interim library director. One of her biggest lessons learned, was a greater understanding of the big picture of her organization and learning more about what her stakeholders valued and how the library could best serve those needs.

What are some of your tools for being an effective leader???

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