With an ever-growing LDP group, it can sometimes be difficult to truly express the challenges that are faced as a busy college student on a more personal level. It is simply not feasible for each member to explain their personal journey with our limited meeting time each week. Not only that, but it can be daunting to open up to such a large group, no matter how accepting that group is. Splitting into smaller, more intimate teams has given us the opportunity to take the leadership principles learned and apply them in a more personalized coaching experience. This takes place in the form of small mentoring meetings, where we are able to delve deeper into our personal obstacles.
Our mentor meetings, for example, take place in a more relaxed environment, where we can talk over a meal together. While this may not seem like it makes a large impact, this single hour allows our mentoring group to connect on a different level. We have learned that having a smaller group allows us to be more honest and productive. The close bonds formed in the smaller teams gives a genuine air to this program, where you know you will always have someone to depend on and give you honest feedback.
We feel that this experience can be a useful resource in any organizational environment. When companies or student organizations grow, each individual may feel less important to the entire team. Simon Sinek, in his book Why Leaders Eat Last, calls this abstraction. He claims that having a group too large inhibits the ability of that group to feel important, like a family. However, when broken into smaller groups, each person can see the impact they make on their team, and consequently, the organization. This leads to every member being able to feel as vital as they truly are. This also allows members to have a closer connection and form more long-term bonds. Mentor groups are not just an hour long meeting that we are forced to go to, they are our favorite hour of the week with our favorite people on campus.