Law 792:  Leadership as Behavior: An Experiential Workshop to Practice Core Skills

This experiential workshop will make you a more effective legal team leader and member. It is not a usual seminar. The class involves team learning based on a unique combination of interactive exercises, out of class assignments, and readings. The purpose of the class is to deepen your insight into effective team leadership and strengthen the practical listening and connecting skills that are essential to creating a collaborative and inclusive team environment. The course will give you actual practice in core skills to serve you in practice and in life.

The class meets via Zoom. No phones. No other applications. The basic core skills we practice are: controlling where you focus attention; empathetic listening; asking powerful questions; expressing gratitude; creating psychological safety in your teams; giving and receiving feedback; and engaging with those with whom you disagree to understand their views, how they feel about those views, and why they feel that way. In addition, you will practice daily gratitude journaling, which is likely to increase your overall positivity and resilience during the pandemic.

The course has three papers: a gratitude letter (5 pages), your eulogy (5 pages), and a final research paper on a topic of your choice that you will clear with me in advance (20 pages). Each week, you will submit a one page responses to questions I will pose about the readings and assignments. Finally, I ask you to follow certain objective writing rules in each written submission, so your ability to write in a succinct, clear, and direct style should improve.

Because this workshop involves team learning, your attendance at every class is mandatory. Please read through the entire syllabus before you decide whether to take this class and you should not enroll unless you are prepared to uphold the class agreement and invest in the experience. 

Students are encouraged to click on the Syllabus Link, https://files.webservices.illinois.edu/8312/leadershipasbehaviorsyllabus.pdf, for more information about this course.  

Sequence and Prerequisites: None.

Evaluation:  Please review the syllabus for the full grading plan and criteria. In sum: gratitude journal (15%); responses to prompts (15%); papers: 35% (gratitude letter and eulogy, 5% each; research paper 25%); class participation (15%); assigned exercises (10%); final oral presentation (10%).

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