Raising Your Hand

It’s that thing we’ve been taught to do since we first started our educational journeys. However, we have all sat in classes where no one seemed able or willing to raise their hands. While it’s easy to keep our hands down and stare at the clock until we’re able to escape from class, think how much faster class would go by if we actually participated.

I know how hard it can be to raise your hand. I mean, it requires a lot of effort. I too am guilty of averting my gaze from professors when they ask a question. Fear can overcome you when you think they might call on you, and you’re still trying to wrap your head around what the class was even talking about in the first place. You sit there hoping someone would raise his or her hand and distract the professor’s attention away from you. Why is it never you who raises a hand?

I was tasked to write about leadership this week, and I know what you’re thinking, “What does raising your hand have to do with leadership?” Well, I’m going to tell you. While it’s easy to think about leadership in broad and grand ways, I thought it might be refreshing to see the ways in which we can possess the qualities of being a leader every day. I think you know where I’m going with this … that’s right, raising your hand.

While this common occurrence might not be deemed worthy of being applied to leadership, if we look closely at the simple act of raising our hands, we might change our view. When we raise our hand, we are telling the professor that we have something to offer to the conversation. By raising our hands, we show that we are willing to put ourselves out there, even if we might be wrong. Raising our hands allows us to lead the class in a discussion.

There are so many ways in which raising our hands can apply to leadership. So, the next time you are sitting in class and counting down the time until you leave, why don’t you try raising your hand and asking a question? You might just learn something useful, and isn’t that what being a Captain is all about?

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