A few weeks ago myself and the rest of the District Council got to meet all of you in sunny (and WARM) Los Angeles, and it was an incredible experience… and I first off just want to say thank you to everyone who attended or showed any form of support; it’s all of you that made this a successful event even through a few bumps in the road that may have been had. Anyway, the main point I wanted to write this article about was reflection.
I know we all reflected personally in our chapters about it, however I want to help continue to guide that reflection in a different direction with some advice I have. I would love to share with you all my personal take on how to get the MOST VALUE out of your DLC experience after the event.
A quick bit of background on me, I’ve served as a student staff member for a weeklong musician/marching leadership camp for high school students for the past 3 summers, and before that I attended the camp as a participant for 3 summers as well which means I have spent 6 years total with this camp. This camp has had very similar content and structure every year, but with different themes and little variations. Obviously one would immediately think ‘wow, that’s boring. You probably don’t get much out of it as an older member or as a staff member from year to year.’ however that’s completely wrong, because each time I complete a year I get to see DEEPER into the camp and all of the little intrinsic details that I took for granted my first year. Each year I’m able to see another piece of the puzzle. It’s learning more from the EXPERIENCE and not the CONTENT and that’s a perspective I’d love to share with the district.
DLC (District Leadership Conference) is an event that kicks off the District Travel Season and is intended to allow brothers and sisters all around The West the opportunity to learn about new tools, leadership, and other chapters. It’s a time to just breathe in the experience of being with 200+ people who have the same drive to learn and grow.
I firmly believe that you get as much out of this DLC as you put into it; the people who are engaged and look deeper into the workshops specifically [and not just necessarily at the face-value content] are the ones who will get EXACTLY what leadership tools they’re looking to get!
If you ever find yourself feeling like you didn’t get much out of something, take a deeper look at the workshop itself because there’s so many more lessons in it for those who are willing to look hard enough.
Here are some guiding questions to think about with the conference that may lead you to some lessons you may not have noticed:
- How did the speaker present themselves?
- How did they try to engage multiple different learning styles in their lesson?
- What kind of attitude did the speakers have?
- What was the speaking pattern that was used by speakers?
- How was the schedule structured.. Why do you think it was chosen that way?
- Did you hear speakers say certain words, or avoid certain negative words?
- Did you ever see the District Officers breaking down when the stress got to them?
- Did you ever notice officer yell or cry?
- Did the District Officers look composed on the outside, regardless of the situation?
- How often were you fully committed to the content being presented?
- When you got settled in to sleep at night, did you set goals for exactly what you wanted to do and get out of the next day? Why or why not?
- Which chapters did you meet? How often did you stay within your own chapter?
- How often did you, as a leader, offer to help out? Did it ever cross your mind to?
- Is there something you hated about DLC? Why did you hate it? How would you have done it differently? How would you respond to road bumps in your plan?
These are just to give a few ideas and thoughts meant to help drive some deeper self-reflection, so take them however you want. However I’ll share a few of the things I’ve learned from this past DLC to help give some perspective as well:
First, it’s so easy to just offer help to somebody, even if it’s not your job, not just because it’ll make it more efficient, but because it can have a PROFOUND effect on that person; you never know what they’re going through.
Second, while completely sleep-deprived and hungry it’s very common to get cranky, but that is not an attitude that’s acceptable. If you hold yourself high and with a positive attitude and energy it’ll be infectious to others. If you hold yourself as tired, stressed, and grumpy that’d be infectious as well.
Third, whether or not you personally like to use curse/swear words it doesn’t matter; those words send off a negative impression that you typically want to avoid if at all possible.
Anyway, I just wanted to share a little bit about the lessons I’ve learned from all of you this past DLC and thank you all for allowing me that opportunity to serve. I also really hope that these questions and self-reflection of mine help give you a few more lessons out of DLC that you may not have realized before. Leadership is a large passion of mine, and I hope I was able to share a little bit of that passion with you all. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, and know that if you ever want to talk about anything District related or just decompress from the weekend that I’m here and would love to serve the membership in whatever way I can. Stay awesome, and see you all soon in Idaho! <3
Much Love in the Bond,
Alyssa “Athena” Maher
Western District Vice President