For the LAS protocol, we as a cohort were required to take COM461L, or Communication in Leadership. Communication in leadership is a wonderful course that is designed to explore how leaders communicate in many different situations. We explored crisis communication, communication in groups and teams, communication in organizations, and public communication. The cool part of this class is that it is essentially a continuation of the LDR200 class, which lays the foundation for leadership theory. COM461L does a great job exploring how communication and leadership are so interconnected and how important leaders’ messages are to their followers. The class was taught by Prof. Elizabeth Carlson, and I have not met a more genuine professor in my life. She always had the best interests of students in mind and was always available as a resource. She was positive throughout the entire semester. With COM being one of my weaker subjects, I was a little nervous coming into this class; however, all my worries quickly disappeared. Prof. Carlson believed that leaders have the ability to communicate with followers through storytelling, and a few of our assignments did just that. Through many extemporaneous presentations we worked on our storytelling, which really is a great method of communicating, as it establishes credibility and showcases passion.
Communication is so important in the world we all live in today. Whether it is face to face or virtual, it is important to know how to communicate appropriately. We as leaders have an obligation to fulfill. We are the bridge between organization and employee, or government officials and constituents. As a leader, it is important to polish up our own personal communication skills to ensure that we are able to convey messages with ethical intent and inclusiveness. In the world today, we see a lot of political business being dealt with inappropriate tweets, outbursts, or news coverage. Since when is twitter the new boxing ring for political figures? As learned in this class, emotional competency is very important when it comes to communicating as a leader. Following the domestic violence incident on CMU’s campus, it is important as a leader to be able to use emotional competence to ensure that followers feel safe. In times of crisis, a leader must ensure that their followers are taken care of first, while maintaining their composure.
COM461L has taught many things about leading in teams that I never knew before the course. As I approach my professional career, I will remember the material from the course. It is evident that employees will often work in teams in the workplace, and I have learned so much information regarding team management, leadership styles(and when to use which one), as well as how to host and manage a efficient meeting. Moving forward, the most important thing that has stuck with me professionally is the idea of having efficient meetings. Often times meetings are boring, long, and appear to have no clear agenda. This not only is terribly mundane, but discourages members from attending the meeting in the first place. In the real world, I imagine that I will attend countless meetings and maybe put on a few myself, and I want to ensure that the meetings serve a collaborative purpose. Moving forward, that is so much from this course I can use. The world needs leaders that communicate with inclusiveness and passion. I believe that this course has given me the foundation to lead in that manner.