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HUMAN 4RM3 Ldrshp: Relationship Mgmt (C01)

Academic Year: Winter 2019

Term: Winter

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Prof. Alpha Abebe



Phone: 905-525-9140 x

Office Hours: By Appointment

Course Objectives:

Team work, conflict management, negotiation, giving and receiving feedback, communicating vision and expectations these are all key elements of leadership. Ultimately, succeeding in these areas is about managing relationships. Building upon the foundational elements of leadership already acquired, students will gain a deeper awareness of their own and others’ motivations, strengths, filters, and responses to conflict, of and how to apply this knowledge to communicate effectively.

By the end of this course students will have learned:

  • key principles of excellence in leadership, and how to put these principles into practice;
  • cross-cultural interpersonal and communication skills relevant to academic, personal, professional, and community settings;
  • insights into personal strengths and weaknesses as related to the development of leadership skills;
  • how to set personal goals and reflect upon progress towards these goals; and,
  • critical thinking skills, including the ability to be personally and socially aware and continuously reflexive in thinking, writing and practice.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

1. The Student Leadership Practices Inventory 360 – Purchased Online $20 USD. Link:

2. Select articles for weekly reading will be posted on A2L.

3. Leadership books and articles of choice (subject to approval by Instructor).

Method of Assessment:

Personal goal setting (10%)

(1) You will complete the Student Leadership Practices LPI 360 and reflect on your results in a short reflection paper (2). You will identify at least two goals (which may or may not be related to the LPI). You will share these goals in your reflection paper and discuss them in a one-on-one meeting with the instructor (3). You will then keep a log of your progress towards these goals and will share from this log periodically during class, as well as discuss your progress in your final reflection paper.

Group-led community initiative (20%)                                     

Together with the whole class, you will design and execute a leadership initiative that will either serve other students at McMaster or a segment of the wider Hamilton community. This can be a conference, workshop, training, event, or other learning experience. This initiative will allow you to put the leadership and communication skills learned in class into practice, teach you how to work towards a common goal in a team, and provide an opportunity to make a positive impact in the community. 10% of your grade for this will be determined by a peer evaluation of your contributions. The other 10% of your grade will be determined by the instructor using a method that will be determined once the initiative has been designed.

Leadership topic workshop (20%)

You will be paired up with someone in the class for this assignment, and together you will identify an area of leadership that you would like to learn more about. You will identify relevant books and articles related to your topic. You should pull together material from at least 2 books and 2 articles (these do not have to be scholarly but should be reputable and substantive). You will also identify a leader with experience relevant to the topic you have chosen and request a short interview with them to learn about their real-life leadership experiences and challenges. You will then prepare and facilitate a 20-30 minute interactive workshop on your topic, including a handout to be distributed to your peers. 5% of your grade will be determined by a peer evaluation, and 15% of your grade will be determined by the instructor’s evaluation. Note: the topic and reading material is to be approved by the Instructor.

Class participation (20%)

Because of the nature of this course, attendance and active participation in class is essential and comprises a large proportion of your grade in this course. Your class participation mark will be determined by a combination of your weekly attendance, the goal setting meeting with the instructor, sharing your LPI goal progress in class, and your participation in class discussions and engagements with guest speakers.  

Cumulative class reflection paper (30%)

In this assignment, you are to submit a paper reflecting on the entirety of the course. You are encouraged to practice reflexive writing, and talk about how your thoughts and perspectives were challenged, reinforced, or otherwise impacted by the class material, reading, lectures, discussions, activities, assignments, etc. The paper should be approximately 1500 words in length. Further direction on this assignment may be provided closer to the end of the course.

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Late assignments will be subject to a 5% per day late penalty (includes weekends and holidays) for up to seven (7) days. After this date, no assignments will be accepted and a grade of zero (0) will be applied. Extensions for course work that will not incur a late penalty must be approved by the instructor before the due date. Extensions are generally only granted for illness, emergencies, and extenuating circumstances. Note that this is distinct from the McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF) submission process.

Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:

Classes will be a mixture of lectures, guest speakers, discussions, group working sessions, and class presentations. Schedule subject to change depending upon the availability of guest contributors and group initiative schedule. Weekly readings will be posted on A2L.

Week 1

January 7,10

Introduction to course and each other; Review of course expectations and learning objectives

Week 2

January 14,17

Social location and interpersonal relationships; Individual motivational systems

Week 3

January 21,24

Community and accountability; Building and maintaining trust

**Goal setting reflection paper due Jan 25

Week 4

January 28, 31

Cross cultural communication

Week 5

February 4,7

Active listening; Giving and receiving feedback

Week 6

February 11,14

Conflict resolution and transformation

Week 7

Midterm Recess (Feb 18-24)

Week 8

February 25, 28

Managing up and down

Week 9

March 4, 7

Leading visioning processes

Week 10

March 11, 14

Courageous conversations

*Student-led workshops

Week 11

March 18, 21

*Student-led workshops

Week 12

March 25, 28

*Student-led workshops

Week 13

April 1, 4

Final course overview and reflections

**Final class reflection paper due April 8

Other Course Information:

Course materials, instructions, announcements, answers to most questions, contact information, etc. will be posted on Avenue to Learn (A2L). If it is posted on A2L, you are responsible for knowing it. You should probably aim to log in to A2L and check announcements once a day, and are encouraged to subscribe to email notifications from the system.