Section Spotlight

Section Spotlight: Leadership Retreat at OSU

Society of Women Engineers

The Ohio State University Chapter

Written by Allison Hamilton, External Vice President

November 15, 2012

Leadership Retreat at OSU SWE

During Winter 2012, OSU SWE hosted their first leadership retreat in order to increase interest in leadership positions and to grow as a unified group.  Ohio State SWE would like to thank the Society of Women Engineers and Exxon Mobil for sponsoring this new event.

The leadership retreat was an all day event, beginning with breakfast in the Ohio Union.  The Ohio State SWE President opened the event, and all attendees introduced themselves to the collegiate leadership coach, Alison Moscarillo and the central Ohio professionals who attended. The chapter then participated in various instructional modules lead by Alison:

Building Membership

After this module is presented, the participants will have information and tools to develop a plan to increase their membership through recruitment and retention initiatives.  Upon completion of this module, participants should

  • Understand why people join organizations
  • Be prepared to develop a recruitment and retention plan for her/his SWE section
  • Gain ideas for how to target new member and retain members
  • Be able to personally recruit new members

Building Teams

The Team Building Module defines what a team is compared to a group, discusses the phases of developing a team, teaming strategies, effective team traits, and how to continue to develop the team in the future.  This module describes forming, storming, norming, and performing as the cycle of building a team.

 

Conflict Resolution

The Conflict Resolution Module explains six steps to conflict resolution, describing conflict types and characteristics as a basis for understanding.

Dealing with Leadership Burnout

This module will help you recognize the signs when members and/or officers are reaching a potential burnout.  It provides a forum for best practices for effective solutions, and will allow you to walk away with concrete ideas of prevention.

Effective Personal Communications

This module is designed to give an overview of personal communication.  It deals with email, face to face and phone communication.  It is highly effective if the crowd participates and asks questions.  It can be geared toward the workplace or students striving for a job.  Some of the highlights include a proper way to shake hands and how to leave a voice mail.

You’re in SWE, Now What?

This module will help you understand the SWE organization at all levels, including the mission and goals of the society.  Additionally, this module focuses on the value of a SWE membership and the SWE organization can help you.

After a few modules were completed, the members had lunch, and then completed more sessions until dinnertime.  They were especially helpful to learn about when you may be too involved (leadership burnout) and to learn about professional communication.  The session may have been improved by having multiple speakers or a panel to gain a deeper perspective on each topic.

Around 5 PM, all participants will have dinner in the Union at Woody’s Tavern, and carpool to SkyZone, an indoor trampoline park in downtown Columbus.  SkyZone was great way to end the leadership-training day through group bonding and team development.  Ohio State SWE grew more socially after the retreat, and almost all members who attended became more involved through committees and officer positions.

Overall, the leadership retreat was definitely a positive experience that unified many members of our section.  However, the content of the retreat has opportunity for improvement.   Allowing the professionals in the Central Ohio SWE section to add their experiences to the topics presented may have inspired more conversation and engagement from the group.  Making the retreat into more of a workshop format with activities between lectures would have also increased group involvement during the event.  The successes and areas of improvement will be considered, and will hopefully result in another successful leadership retreat turnout!

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