Students participate in overcoming organizational challenges at second leaders workshop


Arabella Hau/Iowa State Daily

Iowa State students discussing how to handle a conflict during a case study at the second Leaders Workshop Series on Sept. 25.

Arabella Hau

The second workshop of the Leaders Workshop Series taught students about organizational strategies and how to overcome conflicts in relationships on Wednesday.

Titled “Overcoming Organizational Challenges,” the workshop was led by speakers Erica Swanson, coordinator for Leadership and Student Organizations, and David Garsow, residence coordinator in the Residence Hall department.

Students were welcomed with an interactive activity to help them understand differences in conflict management styles first-hand. They were then encouraged to complete a questionnaire to help them identify their dominant conflict style and discussed when to use each style in a team environment.

“The conflict resolution styles activity helped me to be more open to acknowledging my weaknesses and strengths so that I can improve in areas that need to be improved on,” said Jeev Padavadth, junior in supply chain management.

From there, students were informed on how to build positive relationships with team dynamics as well as eight important steps to resolve conflicts.

Padavadth emphasized the importance of learning such skills and said different conflict resolution styles can help people to have a better understanding of how others handle problems.

Students questioned how one might appropriately act in different circumstances that might come up in future workspaces. Specific examples were then presented to the group to promote ‘situational discovery.’

To further this thought process, students then gathered into small groups to participate in case studies consisting of real life scenarios. Students discussed problem solving ideas which might allow them to better handle such scenarios.

The students also talked about different conflict resolutions pertinent to the situation, comparing ideas and sharing them with the group as a whole.

Vitoria Faccin, graduate student in graphic design, said she enjoyed the various case studies and that it was nice to talk with others about the strategies of solving conflict.

“It’s always very interesting coming to these different sessions because there’s people from all over campus so each person has different perceptions about what this is going to be,” Faccin said. “It’s interesting to see their point of view and how it relates to what I’ve been doing all my life. It’s interesting to have these team conversations.”

Following the multiple discussions on the organizational challenges and the importance of assertiveness in a workspace, the workshop concluded with a reflection of the night.

“The thing I’ve wanted to get from the entire series is to be a better person, a better well-rounded individual that’s capable of tackling and taking on any situation,” said Elijah Gillispie, senior in political science.

The next workshop of the four part series, “Preparing For Your Career,” is scheduled for 6 p.m. Oct. 2 in the Gallery Room of the Memorial Union.