This student post was written by M.A. Social Impact alumnus, Ely Flores.
Please see author bio at the end of post.
At the beginning of my Social Impact Master’s Program, I believed that I exemplified Claremont Lincoln’s tenets of Mindfulness, Change, Collaboration, and Dialogue.
The Claremont Core, with these four tenets, “takes you through a process of self-awareness and steadily evolves towards engagement with others and society at large.”
As I began diving deeper into the courses, I quickly understood that these principles are not just words that should be used in passing.
But rather, they are values that should be pursued as a way of life and a commitment to transformational leadership.
Dialogue and Mindfulness in the Claremont Core
I had always prided myself in understanding dialogue but, in learning about its profound simplicity as a process in which people engage with each other to try and see the world from the other’s perspective, I opened up to a deeper transformational process.
To engage in true dialogue requires becoming a leader that is mindfully present.
Mindfulness is one of those things that is easier said than done like meditation. Meditation is hard because our minds lack in focus and won’t stop thinking.
Mindfulness is similar in that we want to jump and attach ourselves to the first emotion that arises from a conversation. Then, we are quickly distracted by another emotion without truly understanding why we are becoming emotional in the first place.
A dialogue requires us to pay attention and be mindfully present. It asks you to not judge what is coming out of the other person’s mouth, but, rather, to try to see the world from the other person’s perspective.
The Claremont Core challenged me to continue to grow as a transformational leader, but, most importantly, it has inspired and dared me to be a driver of change through dialogue and mindfulness.
Thus, the people around me feel valued and validated when, as a leader, I am able to engage in a genuine exchange of experiences.
Photo credit: © Animak | Dreamstime.com
About the Author
Ely Flores is a recent graduate of Claremont Lincoln University’s Social Impact Program.
He is founder and executive director of his own nonprofit, Leadership through Empowerment, Action, and Dialogue Inc. (LEAD), which has trained more than 200 youth in California and established a school that empowers underserved young adults from 18 to 24 to complete their high school education, prepare for college and/or career and become leaders in their communities.
He also works as outreach coordinator and manager for GRID Alternatives of Los Angeles, assisting low-income communities through the Single-Family Affordable Solar Homes Program.