Designed according to our needs and aspirations, the Training for Advanced Leadership in KILN (T.A.L.K.) retreat employed unique coaching and incredible facilitation to help re-center my own personal effectiveness and motivation. T.A.L.K. enabled me to explore complex areas of leadership such as the effects of birth order on personality, risk-taking, the role of self-actualization in contributing to a better world, and ways leadership is portrayed in nursing. The exercise on birth order highlighted the characteristics of the oldest child, youngest child, and only child. I was shocked to see how accurate those characteristics were and how they applied to my life. The facilitators, Drs. Judith Vessey, Viola Benavente, and Nettye Debisette, then elaborated on the challenges that the three groups would encounter in leadership. The dialogue among the group enabled me to gain a deeper understanding of myself. I started to become aware of my motivations, emotions, weaknesses, and fears. As I learned over the weekend, this type of self-awareness is essential to being an effective leader.
Out of all the opportunities I was exposed to during this retreat, I found the level of humility in the advice I received to be the most touching. In the act of being humble, the facilitators allowed me to feel important and valued. The retreat was a great time to step back and reconnect with my core competencies and goals. I was able to obtain a deeper understanding of the opportunities and challenges that come with being a leader. This was a reflective and renewing experience that gave me new enthusiasm and energy.