A Q&A where graduates share their experiences of Leadership Academy training. What has it added to their life, both personally and professionally?
Senior Children and Young People Commissioner in a London Borough Council
Which Leadership academy programme did you join?
Empowering Women (October 2022 in London).
What were your initial thoughts about participating?
I was excited and viewed it as a ‘treat’ to myself – as time out for reflection, and gaining new knowledge about myself in both work and my personal life.
What were your first impressions?
It was nice to be face to face in a nice building and be treated a bit with refreshments. I was surprised to have a male facilitator on an Empowering Women course, but once he started delivering I could see why he was chosen.
The group were all women as I expected. I hadn’t realised it predominantly appealed to IT colleagues and I was the only one not in the IT sphere.
What were the most powerful elements of the programme for you?
The whole programme was interesting and enabled a lot of time for reflection. I think Building Your Network and Communication Styles were the most useful. But a lot of the content resonated with me, and also chimed with things I had done / studied before on management courses.
After graduation, what were the key things you took away with you?
I enjoyed the course and have talked about it with colleagues and family. I generally think I am an empowered individual and the Belbin questionnaire was helpful in identifying my style and how to work best as myself. I enjoyed the coaching session after and felt quite encouraged by the learning from that.
How did you apply these professionally and what are the direct benefits?
I have undertaken to do the communication styles questionnaire at a team meeting, to share that insight with colleagues. Its been a really useful in identifying how to moderate my communication style to different audiences.
I have also used the building a network with work colleague coaches and they have undertaken the exercise to identify their networks ,which has been useful and has also freshened it with me.
What would you say to anyone thinking about joining the programme you enjoyed?
Absolutely go for it. You can never reflect too much on yourself and how to do things differently or validate how you are!