Let me just start by saying that Elizabeth Carlson is by far the sweetest most adorable professor I have ever had, hands down! This class would not have left such an everlasting impression on me nor have been as effective at teaching me the curriculum were she not the professor. In fact, recently in my Public Administration class we discussed leadership styles and the various ways different leaders communicate with their teams and followers. It was so great to be in a non leadership class and utilize information I had previously learned, I really felt like I had gotten the most from my COM class experience.
However this reflection is for the purpose of discussing the class itself, not its after effects. I would say there were a few key components of COM 461L that I very much loved. Firstly the use of presentations to help us learn and teach each other some of the core concepts from the curriculum. Second, I think the requirement of going to office hours at least once to speak with the professor regarding projects was a great idea! I wish more of my professors would require and utilize office hours, that one on one time gives the student a chance to really get individualized help and attention. Lastly, the fact that I took it with my LAS cohort made a difference as it always does in the outcome of the class, sometimes that can hinder learning and sometimes it encourages more meaningful learning. In the case of Carlson’s COM 461L class, my cohort definitely aided in making the class a great experience.
All of those wonderful assets aside, the true star of the class was its content! I feel as though I actually walked away from that class with a solid understanding of the various leadership styles and the ways that different leaders communicate. I feel better equipped to lead in a new variety of situations with a more diverse range of participants. The class taught us many textbook specific theories and styles that can be defined in a sentence or two, but the projects and papers we wrote on them helped me really delve into the content and gain a deeper understanding. I know I could pair a real life example with any textbook defined leadership communication style now, but also that I am more prepared to become the example in any given situation.