My leadership philosophy is that I strive to create the conditions in which others can act. This means, for me, that I wish to support others and facilitate their development. This led me to work in universities and be an academic, work as an educational developer and now train to be a coach. So my coaching apprenticeship this year has really driven the CPD that I have undertaken as well as meeting my approach to leadership. Creating the Thinking Environment for colleagues and myself came from my coaching practice. It has been a real privilege to coach so many people over the past year. And such a learning opportunity. My listening skills in all meetings have benefitted from my coaching apprenticeship and coaching practice, as well as my focus and concentration. I have also embedded new approaches to manage stress and workload as well as prioritisation through coaching. I think it has supported me in gaining perspective through some big decisions and changes. My commitment to undertaking CPD in relation to EDI is also part of this approach and although it has not quite happened in the way I thought, I have still undertaken CPD in relation to racial equality and I feel that this is a necessity in my role.
So here I am the person with the chef’s hat, building the environment and creating the conditions to support others. There is an element of wellbeing through the umbrella, mug and banana; diversity through the different coloured flat blocks; a good place to think through the flowers and all of this enables people to walk to new opportunities.
I believe that my Lego Serious Play practice and introduction of playful techniques also supports my leadership philosophy and approach to CPD. I have seen how using play can bring people together in new ways, encourage creative thinking and problem solving, as well as create memorable experiences. Creating more Lego Serious Play opportunities and building my practice has been important for my CPD as it has enabled me to adapt the technique for new situations as well as enabling more people to take part. This has helped me as a leader understand how to engage people in the change process we are undertaking. It has also supported my development as a coach by exploring how Lego Serious Play can be used in coaching.
I have wanted to write and publish more because this enables me to keep up the “academic” part of my role, as well as giving me the opportunity to think through ideas. I find blogging really helpful in this respect. It also helps me get some feedback on some of my ideas and enables people to know what I think. They can gain access to my thoughts and reflections, which in a leadership role I think can be important. Hopefully it will encourage people to reach out to me. If I could just publish the podcast that would help too!
Finally, I gain so much from engaging with others outside of the university, both in terms of learning what others are doing as well as gaining mutual support. Engaging in professional practice communities has always been a key part of my CPD as an educational developer and now as a vice-president I think it is even more important. Taking part in networking events and meeting colleagues elsewhere has given me a lot of support as well as new ideas on what we can do at City.