Leadership through empathy


By Diana Yun:

Recently, I attended a national student leadership conference hosted by Wollongong University on behalf of WSU.  It was a very rewarding experience. The many different speakers and workshops exposed me to different aspects and styles of leadership I had never known before. I learnt that empathy is a very important skill in leadership. Only with empathy, can a leader understand their team members and know how to bring the best out in them. This is a skill I hope I will always implement in any situation where I am in a leadership position.  Additionally, I learnt the importance of team work and knowing when to step back and listen to the leader. I found that team work is a key ingredient to success and a vital component in achieving goals. The conference also proved to be interactive and fun as we played a lot of team building games, which I found an amazing experience. Through team bonding exercises, I met people from interstate and became very good friends with them.

One highlight of the conference was when a female lieutenant from the Defence Force told me that leadership is a style. She continued to say that even though there are different styles, you do not have to stick to one, but you can employ a mix of everything. She encouraged us to find our own style by identifying leadership qualities we like and making them our own. At this conference I was also blown away by the various social issues that were presented for discussion. Different speakers spoke about issues such as anti-slavery, homelessness, mental illness and climate change.  It was inspiring to see them use their leadership skills to raise awareness of these issues and drive their passion towards changing Australia for the better. I hope that the skills I learnt at this conference will stay with me as I apply them to my nursing course. I hope to continue to develop these skills in order to provide quality care and improve the health care system in Australia for the more marginalised people in our community.

Diana Yun, Nursing Student, Parramatta Campus


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