January 17, 2009

Personalities of Student Organizations

To what extent does the personality of a student organization reflect that of its advisor? The makeup of personalities in the two organizations I run has evolved since I took the organizations over last September.

The personality of the teacher who ran these organizations last year is much different than mine. She was a very down-to-business, type A, extraverted, get-things-done, rapid-fire kind of person. The student leaders I've been working with this year (who were chosen by last year's advisor) have very similar personalities. They are exceptionally driven and have done a fantastic job leading the organization.

In contrast, my own personality is relatively introverted and more laid back. I've noticed that the personality of the entire organization has been shifting this year. There are some very dedicated juniors who are interested in becoming officers next year. Far from the type A extraverts of last year's cohort, their personalities are closer to my own. Is this just a coincidence? Somehow I doubt it.

So What?

To be honest, I'm looking forward to working with these students next year. It's just easier to get along with people whose personalities are closer to our own. I can't say that this year has been totally frictionless, and some of the friction has been because of personality conflicts. I think next year will go more smoothly.

On the other hand, homogeneity can be a dangerous thing. I'd really like a variety of personalities on the student leadership team. It's always good to have a team of diverse strengths and backgrounds. This year's leaders have openly challenged my own thinking on several occasions, and I welcome those challenges. They've come up with some really great ideas. Plus, working with students of different personalities is very rewarding. It keeps things fun and interesting.

Expect more articles on the effects of personality in educational settings!

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