Hannah Ravenscroft, a women’s basketball sophomore, enjoyed learning about her own personal leadership style during a rare meeting of the future leaders from the sophomore class of McDaniel’s sports teams. These student-athletes, under the guidance of the NCAA’s Leadership Development program, met to further improve their leadership skills and improve the working environment of their respective teams.
“I learned that no leadership style is necessarily the ‘right’ leadership style, but that all styles are vital when working together to reach a common goal,” said Ravenscroft. “In general, just understanding why people act a certain way and knowing how to handle adversity.”
DiSC, a behavioral assessment which stands for dominance, influence, steadiness, and conscientiousness, is used by the NCAA Leadership Development team as a personal assessment tool that is used to improve the productivity, communication, and teamwork of the groups that they work with.
The NCAA makes this assessment tool available to all student-athletes and athletic staff at no cost and even provides an NCAA-trained facilitator to conduct on-campus workshops.
“This assessment provides an overview of individual behavioral styles and preferences,” states the NCAA website. “It also provides additional strategies to build more effective relationships within the workplace and athletic setting.”
The assessment provided each individual athlete with the information about their own style of learning, how they relate to other people, and their strengths and weaknesses as both a team member and a leader.
Emily Metzger, also of the women’s basketball team, praised the exactness of the assessment which grouped the athletes into four separate categories defined by their workplace preferences and styles which are represented by the four words of the DiSC acronym.
“The best thing about it was learning what type of leadership qualities each person had,” said Metzger. “It was crazy accurate.”
Both Ravenscroft and women’s soccer sophomore Kaylee Holliger appreciated how the information provided by the assessment would help them to become better teammates.
“I really enjoyed how to handle certain situations while accommodating the working styles of my teammates,” said Ravenscroft. “It’s really going to help our team relate better with each other.”
“It really helped me learn about the style of leader that each of my teammates are,” said Holliger. “I now know how to work with them all individually in a way that works for both of us.”
The DiSC assessment provided information about each of the styles, what motivates their behaviors, and how each of the styles relates to each other, information that Holliger believed could be useful to all other students not just athletes.
“I think it would be a good idea to offer this to other students on campus,” said Holliger. “These leadership styles and tips could pertain to the classroom as well as other campus organizations and workplaces.”
Metzger also said that this program could help improve the atmosphere of the campus.
“I would definitely recommend this to other athletes and students to create a healthier atmosphere,” said Metzger. “Everyone goes about their work in a completely different way and understanding how others work with your leadership style helps create common ground to work from.”
Editor’s Note: The Office of Student Engagement is hosting a Leadership Retreat on April 28 from 12-4 p.m. in Lewis Hall. Students may register through April 26 at this link.