By Seneca Ransom
On three Monday nights in March, Clare Smith and Chelsea McFolling led the UNLEASH leadership cohort for Malone’s female students in the Johnson Center. The program was put on through the lens of GiANT, a program that offers leadership coaching and consulting. These themes were combined with Christian application, provided through Smith and McFolling’s messages.
Tony Schnyders, dean of student development, was contacted by Smith and McFolling with the idea of hosting the cohort on our campus. He jumped at the opportunity, eager for students to be provided with more opportunities for leadership and growth.
“I [thought] that the money [would] be a big barrier for a lot of students to be able to make it, so I paid for anybody who wanted to [attend] through either the service leadership group or Student Senate,” Schnyders said.
“I think it is really important that we start offering more things like that,” Schnyders said. ”We’re going to work together again in the future to provide something on a similar basis — maybe even each semester.”
“Two years ago there was a women’s retreat offered over fall break, and I think Melody Scott is looking to do that again next year,” Schnyders said. “I’m looking at doing a men’s retreat next year as well — we always want to see more [leadership experiences]. I think my focus is that in the future we can offer all of them for free.”
The session focused on the Five Voices Assessment. This personality test comes from GiANT, a coaching and leadership organization. All five voices, or personality aspects, are a part of each person. The difference between people is how each orders these voices, so the different personality types come from discovering which voice is each person’s dominant one or two voices out of the five.
The five voices are the nurturer, the guardian, the pioneer, the creative, and the connector. These are the voices through which each person interacts with others. For example, a person whose main voice is a nurturer is more likely to value relationships with others and peace with others, whereas a guardian values the truth and is known for asking questions more often.
Ella Myrthil, junior communications major, attended UNLEASH and expressed a desire for more events like these, but with a future emphasis on encouraging fellow students to attend. She was initially interested due to the Five Voice assessment.
“I heard this [event] had an assessment test similar to [the enneagram] and an opportunity to learn more about myself and how I react to others,” Myrthil said. “I was very excited to join, and at the end of each session the students who participated got to talk to each other and share how this affected us or how we see examples of this in our own life.”
When each attendee arrived in the Johnson Center, they were handed sheets of paper with leadership tools on them. When the session began, a PowerPoint expanded on the materials. McFolling and Smith led discussions throughout the program about their personal experiences with the material and opened up for questions. At the end of each session, there was an open discussion between the young women that attended.
“Each session had a different topic,” Myrthil said.
The first session was devoted to understanding the breakdown of each personality voice, and what it means if you are that voice.
“Clare and Chelsea would hand us a sheet of paper: tools that we can use ourselves to see how we respond to stressful situations or how we can interact with other people,” Myrthil said.
The second session allowed for attendees to see how each voice handles confrontation or unhealthy situations.
“We looked deeply into each of those Five Voices [during the assessment] and how we all encompass them but one may be stronger than the other[s],” Myrthil said. “Clare and Chelsea were super nice and always wanted us to ask questions.”
The final session allowed for a wrap-up and for attendees to ask questions. It also focused on “Who Says You Can’t?” which was devoted to how each individual can use the voice to its advantage and reach their leadership potential.
“I learned that there are other different types of people than myself,” Myrthil said. “Hearing other people share their voice orders just showed me how I still have lots of growth to do. Not everything is perceived the way I perceive it.
“The world is full of all sorts of different people and so it’s something I can take with me outside of that session and outside of college,” Myrthil said. “Other students [should try] to do something like this because it just shows how super different everybody is, but also how we all want to work for the same thing in connections with other people.”
The hosts of the event felt called to answer this need for leadership and personal development. Clare Smith, an adjunct professor at Malone who also hosts classes like Pilates, loves working with and encouraging young women.
“Our motivation [for this event] was to impart everything that we wish we would have known at [the students’] age; we wanted to give you guys tools and just help prepare you for things,” Smith said. “We just really wanted to pour into you guys in that regard.”
Smith shared that there were continuing conversations with Schnyders to add more of these opportunities on campus in the future.
“There are other ways that we can take this content and spread it out within the Malone community,” Smith said. “From one-day workshops to small coaching groups, to one on one coaching with certain students and possibly more of a regular type of a thing similar to an SFO.”
There are many different opportunities during college for students to better understand themselves. Thanks to leadership at Malone having distinct and direct methods of teaching, students are able to broaden their perspectives and grow in their skills.
Anyone who has any questions about the content shared at UNLEASH should feel free to contact Clare Smith. Her Instagram is @claresmithofficial, or she can be reached on campus during one of her Pilates classes.
To access resources from GiANT, visit their website at http://www.giantworldwide.com.