Leading Edge Coachee Hannah Chen Reflects on Her Experience in One-on-One Leadership Coaching and How It Has Helped Her Through Work and School

It’s been a few months since Hannah Chen had her last Leading Edge coaching session, but the lessons she learned and knowledge she gained throughout the program have left a lasting impression on the way she approaches leadership.

October 7, 2016

Atlanta, GA

Like many of our past coachees, Hannah Chen found out about Leading Edge through her involvement in Grand Challenges, a living learning community program also run by the Office of Leadership Education and Development (LEAD).  Hannah thought it sounded like a great opportunity to develop as a leader and with some encouragement from others who had gone through the program, she decided to apply.  Little did she know how much she would gain from it.

After being accepted in Spring 2015, Hannah was paired with City and Regional Planning PhD student and Leading Edge coach Camille Barchers.  Throughout the semester, Hannah and Camille would meet every other week in Clough to discuss Hannah’s competencies outlined by the 360 Assessment (a leadership assessment completed by all Leading Edge coachees at the beginning of the semester).  Unlike a mentor providing advice, Camille would ask follow-up questions to help Hannah think deeper about her actions throughout her leadership experiences, which would in turn help to build her self awareness.

In recalling the most significant thing she took away from Leading Edge, Hannah points to the importance of feedback.  “It is very comforting to hear positive feedback about yourself, but after [Leading Edge], I now take the initiative to hear negative feedback about myself so I can improve on what I'm doing,” says Hannah.  After doing a project or hosting an event, Hannah will send out anonymous surveys to find out where she excelled as well as where she could improve.

Additionally, Hannah began to see how leadership came into play outside of formal roles and positions in how she interacted with people in her daily life.  A helpful acronym she learned through Leading Edge, RASA (Receive, Appreciate, Summarize, Ask), proved to be a powerful tool for creating meaningful conversations whether it was with friends and family or during an interview.

Having been through the Leading Edge program, Hannah now serves as a member of the Leading Edge Recruitment Team, sharing her experience and encouraging Georgia Tech undergraduates to develop their leadership skills through LEAD’s programs. 

If you’re interested in applying for the Spring 2016 semester of Leading Edge, you can find more information here.

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