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What makes people tick? Ask a Concordia student

Human Systems Intervention workshop creates “aha moments” at the Lester B. Pearson School Board
December 5, 2013
By J. Latimer

“Know thyself” could be the motto for the 2013 workshop created by 12 Concordia students from the Human Systems Intervention graduate program in conjunction with the Lester B. Pearson School Board (LBPSB).

This fall, for the seventh consecutive year, students designed and delivered a tailored learning event for the LBPSB community. The 76 participants — who ranged from teachers, principals, staff and parents to board commissioners — have since reviewed the workshop and declared themselves impressed.

“Great Minds Don’t Think Alike” used interactive experienced-based methods to illustrate the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator of personality preferences. It was held on October 19 and 20 at the Pearson Electrotechnology Centre in Lachine.

“Great Minds Don’t Think Alike” The Human Systems Intervention workshop “Great Minds Don’t Think Alike” used interactive experienced-based methods to illustrate the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator of personality preferences. | Photo by Concordia University

“We had so many personal aha moments — learning if we’re introverts or extroverts, or if we prioritize feelings over thinking. These things effect how we judge and perceive,” said Mario Barrette, LBPSB’s director of Community Services. “Half the battle in life is recognizing what makes people tick and how to use that knowledge to work together for a successful outcome.”

Most valuable to the participants was a heightened awareness of how different personality types make decisions and how they function in work-related interactions. That awareness can be brought back to the classroom, where it’s helpful in identifying differing styles of learning and participating.

According to the graduate program's academic supervisor Raye Kass, a professor in Concordia’s Department of Applied Human Sciences, the workshop is a win-win situation for both the LBPSB and her students.

“The participants get a customized learning opportunity and networking event,” Kass says. “In turn, our students get experience beyond the classroom walls and get critiqued by the Planning Committee at the end of the workshop.”

Graduate student Amanda Cohen found the whole process helpful.

“We learned so much about listening and asking questions in the planning stages, which lead us to accurately identify the Planning Committee’s goals and values. We also learned that it’s best to evaluate the client’s needs during site visits to schools and meetings, not just through interviews,” Cohen says. “Then we got hands-on experience doing logistics, marketing and registration. We were 100 per cent responsible for the outcome, so that’s real world pressure.”

The next LBPSB workshop — which will have a different focus — is slated for October 2014.

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