UA challenges students to encourage themselves and others

By Francis Schmidt, Writer

It’s may be tough to brave the cold winter of Ohio without getting a little discouraged every once in a while. People may sometimes feel like staying inside, but according to Dr. Sarah Adams, a little bit of encouragement can go a long way.

Dr. Adams held an interactive lecture in the honors commons on Wednesday, Feb 24. She gave the fifth presentation in the eight week series called “The Leadership Challenge”, where UA leads challenges for students to gain wisdom from successful members of the Akron community.

Dr. Adams is an alumnus of The University of Akron who, along with her husband John Adams, sponsored the John R. and Sarah A. Amphitheatre. Sarah is a distinguished community leader as well as a medical doctor, so the topic ‘Encouraging the Heart’ held a special meaning for her.

“…As a physician and as somebody who takes care of people, I love the topic because it has a health [con]notation to it as well. Let’s face it, if we encourage people and make them feel good they ultimately will feel better,” Dr. Adams said.

The presentation covered how to inspire yourself and others to do great work through encouragement. Dr. Adams engaged the crowd with interactive activities that included making up awards for achievements that you and a partner accomplished that day. She also had an activity for changing negative thoughts into positive thoughts by singing them to the tune of ‘Happy Birthday’, and planning out your goals by the year, month, week, day, and even hour.

She led the group through these activities to focus on the positive effect of recognizing good work and actions. This effect can be seen through self-recognition and recognition by an employer. According to Dr. Adams, the keys to opening up your heart to encouragement are “recognizing contributions” and “honor by creating a strong sense of commitment”. She believes through these methods people can build a stronger community filled with great leaders.

“The takeaway message is being positive and looking not only for the big things people are doing but the small stuff and realizing that people are doing wonderful things around us every day, and if you encourage them they are going to turn around and make things good for you as well… be positive look for the little things,” Dr. Adams said.

‘Encouraging the Heart’ is just one of 8 lectures on leadership put together by UA Leads. The next lecture is this coming Wednesday, March 4, at 3:20 p.m. It’s located at the Union’s ballroom A. Nancy Hunter Denney will be the speaker, covering a new ‘Principle of Leadership’. If anyone has attended any previous events, be sure to come to this one as well and increase your chance of winning a “Silver or Gold LIFE Award.”