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Alex Reagan shows what leadership looks like

Posted by: Gordon on 11/19/2014

Alex Reagan's doodles from NLT 3 2014
“I knew I needed a thicker skin,” recent training participant Alexandra Reagan, 29, says. “I just didn’t know how to get it.”

Reagan works at Environmental Council of Sacramento and is president of Feminist Democrats of Sacramento. She had heard about Gamaliel through her work several months ago and then after meeting John Shaban and Michelle Pariset from affiliate CROP, decided to attend weeklong training.

Alex took 35 pages of notes—but she also found time to doodle and draw illustrations of some of the key themes that come out during training. “Doodling helps me listen,” she says.

Learning to spend more time listening than talking during one to one meetings and how to have effective meetings – for example, having a clear purpose for each meeting – stand out as her lessons from training.

“I’ve heard active listening explained before, and while I don’t think that phrase was even used during training, I think the concept [of listening more than you talk during a 1 to 1 relational meeting] was explained well,” Alex says. 

Did she get a thicker skin? The day after the training, she went to a meeting with a friend who also attended the training. Her friend reported to the group that she had committed at the Gamaliel training to donate $15 per quarter.

Instead of sitting quietly when the group met the commitment with silence, Alex used her new thicker skin to push: “Who can match that?” Alex asked the group. “Raise your hand if you can match it.” Several people agreed to contribute—and Alex made sure their names got recorded in the meeting minutes. That – and two pages full of pretty cool doodles – are what a thick skin, and leadership, look like.


Tags: training | CROP | California |
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