Skip to main content


Showing posts from July, 2016

Exploring Hidden Thoughts through the D.I.E. Method

Today we continue our exploration of Leading with Cultural Competence by considering ways to understand interactions and our own feelings.  
We  can risk cultural collisions every day if we do not take active steps to increase our understanding of not only cultural competency issues but also our own underlying attitudes, beliefs, and values.  These attitudes, beliefs, and values are the issues that lie underneath the surface and can cause the biggest problems in our ability to understand those that we are working with and learning from.  Just as the crew of the Titanic did not adequately estimate the size of the iceberg that laid under water, if we don’t check our attitudes and beliefs we can underestimate the amount of work we need to do to become culturally competent.
One method to use in increasing your cultural competence is the Describe, Interpret, Evaluate Method introduced by Janet Bennett and Milton Bennett in the 1970s while doctoral students at the University of Minnesota. …

Join the Team as a Program Coordinator

We are excited to announce a new position for a team member in Northwest Minnesota.  This newly created position is for a Leadership and Civic Engagement Cohort Program Coordinator to work with the Red River Valley Emerging Leadership Program (RRV ELP) as well as the National Extension Leadership Development (NELD) Program.  This part time position will be housed within one of the NW Regional Extension Centers (Roseau, Crookston, Moorhead, or Morris).  For more information, check out the full posting.

Leading with Cultural Competence - Never Stop Learning

Often times during sessions on cultural competence people are surprised to learn that their understanding of cultural dynamics or diversity is not as advanced as they believed.  This does not mean that a person is doomed to remain at that knowledge level forever and not able to grow their cultural competency skills.  It is actually quite the opposite.  When people are able to better understand where they are on their journey towards cultural competence they are better able to seek out new knowledge and experiences.  Today we offer for you five books that were recently recommended during June's Leading with Cultural Competence workshop. 
Facilitating Multicultural Groups by Christine Hogan ‘Facilitating Multicultural Groups’ is a good reference tool when preparing for meetings and workshops.  It gives tips on how to adapt materials and prepare for situations that may arise in intercultural settings.  According to Toby Spanier, Extension educator, with this book you are getting two…

The Power of Community

Pakou Hang is a graduate of the Minnesota Ag and Rural Leadership (MARL) program, which is a partnership between Extension's leadership programs and Southwest State University. In this video, she discusses her leadership story and her belief in the power of community. You NAILED it, Pakou! 

OPPORTUNITY - Paths to Civic Engagement Workshop Series

In Minnesota there is a call for more leaders in rural communities.  According to an analysis by Extension research fellow Ben Winchester, 1 in 16 people must serve as a leader in rural Minnesota counties.   To help people prepare for this level of service the Initiative Foundation is offering the Paths to Civic Engagement workshop series as a way to give advanced training to up to 50 motivated community members under the age of 40.  The workshop series addresses topics such as ethical leadership, interacting with the media, resolving conflict, understanding the basics of government finance, and more.  While helping individuals prepare to take on elected, appointed, or staff positions within local units of government and non-profits it also helps participants build a support network that will be there for them as they step forward into leadership roles.  Visit the Initiative Foundation website to learn more about the Paths to Civic Engagement program and how to apply.  They also have…

Leading with Cultural Competence - What is Culture and Why Does it Matter?

We recently held the Leading with Cultural Competence workshop as part of the 2016 Leadership Series.  This day-long session allowed participants to explore their understanding of cultural competence and how to be more effective leaders.  Information for today’s post has been adapted from materials prepared for the session by Extension Educators Catherine Rasmussen and Toby Spanier.
When we are asked to define our culture many of us may immediately name a country we or our ancestors immigrated from.  We don’t always give credit to the other pieces that create our culture – our socioeconomic status, gender, educational history, or geographic location to name a few.  Each aspect of our lives informs our culture as well as the culture of the places we live, work, play, and lead. Simply stated, culture is made up of shared basic assumptions that are learned over time and considered to be valid.  These valid assumptions are then taught as the “norm” to others around us and impact the behavi…

Happy 4th of July!

We wish you a happy, and safe, 4th of July.  Thank you to past and present leaders who have helped to shape our country.

LEARN - Leading to Keep Going Strong

Leading to Keep Going Strong Tuesday, August 9, 2016 9:15 - 10:30 a.m. FREE Online Offering
The 2016 Leadership Series rolls on with another FREE webinar in August.  Join Extension Educators Denise Stromme and Lori Rothstein as they explore tips, tools, and methods to help leaders stay invigorated and on task while wearing a number of different hats.    Make some time in your busy schedule to enjoy this webinar and help yourself refresh before taking on the next big project.  Registration is open now through August 2 at
Want to find out what other great webinars are coming up yet this year?  Head here to read about all the other events planned for the 2016 Leadership Series