Once a month, we at the Cedar Mentorship Program, meet with the mentees to discuss topics from our syllabus. This meeting is called LDS, also known as: the Leadership Development Series.
On March 25th, 2017, we met at Millennium Park to talk about 2 topics and also to do a leadership development activity. We were led by Chidinma
- Self-reflection – The discussion focused on the importance of yearly, monthly, weekly and daily reflection. We started by talking about how most people do not reflect and live their lives on an autopilot mode. The danger in this is that when we live our lives on auto-drive, we become robots, we become subjects in our own world instead of actors. We had wonderful examples on the importance of reflection and how it helps us live with more awareness on a daily basis. The topic started with Chidinma asking a mentor to define himself without referring to background, family, dreams, or any related thing. The mentor responded by saying he did not see himself as a human being but more as an application of values. He stated that allegiance should not be given to individuals but to values/principles like courage, integrity, tolerance, growth and etc. Chidinma responded by noting that the mentor could only respond in this way because he had done a good amount of self-reflection. Each mentee committed to practice daily reflection and to produce a report for the next time we meet. Some benefits of reflection include:
Reflection helps to build better self-awareness and develop self-regulation | It also helps us to make better decisions | Helps improve our confidence.
- Journaling – we talked about the importance of putting down your thoughts on paper or on a screen. This is an extension of reflection. Some of the male mentees claimed that they do not do this because it seems like a waste of time. Further discussion with them also revealed that there is a notion of journaling being a female activity, similar to writing in a dairy. All male mentors at the meeting, emphasized that this notion was very wrong and unfortunate and every male mentor confessed to be people who journal. The benefits of journaling are immense and include:
– emotional healing
– it is the best way to write a book
– it helps relieve stress
– aids reflection
– record significant lessons
– ask important questions
– helps us write in the moment and capture our emotions in a way that we might never be able to again
– helps us to solve problems more easily
– helps us to know ourselves better
– helps to clarify our thinking
We then did a leadership development activity, where we had a template that outlined 11 qualities of a leader and we had to assess ourselves based on the template. We shared the areas where we, as individuals, felt we needed to improve and committed to improving those areas.
After the meeting, we had cool lemonade, orange juice, fruit juice, did some reflection and ate some of the best meat and chicken pie in Abuja! 🙂
Our next LDS meeting will hold on Saturday, April 8th 2017.