All entries for Saturday 05 May 2012

May 05, 2012

Final Entry on Leading a Group Project

Original Action Points:

  1. Remember that leadership styles operate on a continuum and recognise when and where the most appropriate style is applicable and adapt accordingly.
  2. Remember to get to know group members or at least their preferred roles, experience or skill sets.
  3. Familiarise and understand the task before delegating and setting ground rules which must be achievable and realistic.

From the concepts introduced in this workshop and the Leadership scheme, I have developed a further understanding of what it means to be effective in different types of leadership roles. From my experience as a ski/snowboard instructor where leadership had to be very authoritarian to ensure the safety of the children I was teaching, through to the far more democratic and delegative leadership style required for effective academic group work. Leadership works on a continuum and leading a successful team requires the Tuckman's model of group formation, namely the forming, storming and norming needed to perform.

From this particular workshop, future action points I will continue to take forward include remembering to familiarise myself with group members to understand their preferred roles and familiarise myself with the tasks set - often the 'forming' and 'storming' parts of group work which are brushed aside to dive straight into the work. The management of expectations and setting of clear ground rules is also an important aspect raised, which can help to avoid conflict and tension within groups, and the ability to adapt leadership styles to suit the situation needed are some of the important points I have found most useful and will continue to apply with more detailed reflection to follow through my final leadership blog.

Final Entry on Effective Seminar Participation

Original Action Points:

  1. To remember not to allow my body to move too much when delivering presentations i.e. stop myself from swaying as this can communicate insecurity.
  2. To be definite in my presentation of information and questioning. Not be backed down to interruption or question my right to speak.
  3. To end clearly and present alternatives to the cliche 'are there any questions?' For example, 'I'm sure you have plenty you would like to contribute and I would be happy to hear this now.'

After finishing a busy second term, I've now had some time to reflect on the many seminar presentations I have been involved with. My delivery has continued to improve as demonstrated from feedback, which highlights the fluent and clear presentation of my material. Plus, I continue to make more of an effort to actively contribute to discussions, although this can sometimes be hard at the end of a long day.

Another lesson learned was the importance of a clear ending and I will continue to make conscious efforts to demonstrate this in my future seminar presentations. In future, I will also try to maintain a body language that portrays confidence, whilst also not being too static. I will continue to remain diplomatic in my choice of words and avoid falling back on phrases that could appear to question my right to speak, such as “I’m sorry but could you…”

I’m usually quite comfortable projecting my voice, but will remember to use pitch, pace and power (rhythm) to keep listeners engaged and portray my enthusiasm for the subject. I have found it much easier to do this by not scripting myself strictly, to avoid sounding like I am reading something out word for word. Instead, by learning the order of key points I want to get across, it allows my spoken language to remain more natural, aiding a fluent presentation style and also means I do not have to rely on notes.

Overall, this workshop helped to consolidate a lot of theory that was already familiar to me but was presented in an interesting and fresh approach that emphasised the importance of speech and posture. The key points I will take with me into future seminars include, a good posture, clear and definite delivery and remember to take responsibility for being active to engage and communicate confidence.     

May 2012

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  • Dear Gwyn Thank you for your final entry, it has been a pleasure reading your blogs and it is great … by Samena Rashid on this entry
  • Thank you for this final blog. It's good to hear that you have been able to put much of what we cove… by on this entry
  • Hi Gwyn I have enjoyed reading your blogs. You have clearly demonstrated that you have embraced a cr… by Austin Griffiths on this entry
  • Hi Gwyn – thank you for your final entry. You have clearly benefitted from attending the workshop an… by Trudy Hillier on this entry
  • Hi Gwyn, I think it is always a good idea to have a tight focus for a dissertation. It means you can… by Austin Griffiths on this entry

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