Making ConnectionsMay 20, 2019 in Iceland ⋅ ⛅ 3 °C
12) What kind of influence will this trip have on you as a leader?
Before traveling to Iceland, I had little to no exposure to life outside the United States. I had not traveled internationally so I did not know what to expect or how to manage all these new experiences. It was a whirlwind of new: new foods, a new language, new culture, new landscapes, new currency, new activities. Many times I felt overwhelmed by all of these foreign experiences, and I longed for a small taste of home. For the most part, though, I felt like a sponge: I tried to soak up as much information and details as I could about the country and its people. There was so much I had never been exposed to, like the fact that some children know four more languages than I did at the age of nine, or the fact that tea and coffee were served with every, single, meal (not just for breakfast). Understanding that there are people around the world that have completely different lifestyles than I do is important when leading a group of people. Deepening one’s sense of variation and building awareness of differences allows one to have empathy for their followers. By realizing not every person’s experiences are the same, the mind of a leader is broadened so they can better understand how to work cohesively with others. An important aspect of building awareness is recognizing the varied values of others and what motivates or inspires them. Experiencing a different culture firsthand instead of just reading or researching it allowed me as a leader to be more open to new ideas, new customs, new traditions. Before meeting Beggy at Daladýrđ, I would have never completely understood the importance of completing a task correctly because the livelihood of him and his family depended upon that project withstanding time and nature. Now, as a leader, I have a broader view of the world and the daily lives of the people living in it, increasing my ability to build stronger connections and relationships with those surrounding me.Read more