How to Realize Your Strengths: A Lesson in Leadership

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Whether you’re a captain, a returning member or brand new to the organization, you will serve as a leader in some capacity to those around you. We are constantly leading one another whether it is in how we conduct or practices or the attitudes we maintain during competitions. One of the purposes of mock trial is to produce productive and effective leaders to serve in both the Knoxville community and the world as a whole.

Not only is leadership an intended goal of mock trial, but it’s one of the many benefits of being part of our organization. Our current members are engaged as leaders in a variety of campus organizations and activities. These areas include Greek life, the honors program, student government, study abroad, internships, media, university housing, foreign language club, the pride center, leadership studies, Habitat for Humanity, RecSports and MORE.

Our members are able to be effective leaders because we are an organization that promotes using our individual strengths to build powerhouse teams.

One way you can utilize your strengths is to realize them so that you will be able to consciously enact them in any situation. Sometimes in mock trial, situations can become tense. This especially happens when members get stressed during competitions.

When looking at personality types, a lot of people tend to think that introverts and extroverts might not be the ideal pair. However, it is productive to have a solid mix of these personality traits on a team to give perspective. Extroverts tend to be action-oriented, meaning that if something goes wrong, they will spring into action to save the day. On the other hand, introverts are more thought-oriented, which is why they are able to formulate a plan that will lead us to success and triumph.

In the same respect, there seems to be a clash between those who are intuitive as opposed to sensing. Sensing leaders are highly focused and able to engage in what is presently happening. These are the members that are completely in check with where we are and where we need to be going. This is the team member that has the courtroom number in mind and is ready to set up the table for trial. Intuitive people are imaginative, curious and ready to explore the future possibilities of any situation. These are the members who come up with new ways for us to conduct our trials and give creative input when we are making decisions.

A lot of people say there should be a balance between the head and the heart. We agree. Thinking and feeling are both two different personality traits that come together to foster productivity in our organization. People who lean towards the thinking trait tend to put logic over emotions and boost efficiency wherever possible. These are the members that do not get upset over a low score but rather, push to making sure the next ballot has 10s across the board. Our feeling individuals are the ones pushing social harmony and cooperation. These are the people that are able to show empathy to new members when they get discouraged, resolve conflicts within teams, and make sure everyone is having the optimal experience.

Our final Myers-Briggs asset is the difference between judging and perceiving. Judging individuals- not that kind of judge- are drawn to structure, clarity, and organization. Without these members, our case boxes would be a mess and our practices would run rampant all night. Perceiving people are adaptable and prefer to keep their options open. These are the people that enable us to make plans when we are short on time (i.e. where do we EAT) and let in a lot of creativity.

A major component of leadership is engaging the strengths of those around us. Mock trial at the University of Tennessee is dedicated to accepting and optimizing everything about our students.

When your parents dropped you off at university and told you to learn somethin’ and become the best version of yourself, they meant it.

Let us help you!

 

Kennedy Elaine Sanders

ksande34@vols.utk.edu

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