First entry on Leadership
Workshop Tutor: Mary Sage
Studying for an MSc in Biotechnology, Bioprocessing and Business Management at Warwick's Life Sciences department, I decided I needed to demonstrate application of the skills employers value. This is the reason I decided to participate in the Warwick skills portfolio award and naturally the Leadership scheme as another opportunity to make the most out of my time here at Warwick University. I decided I wanted to take part to further develop and demonstrate my leadership skills in order to participate more effectively in my role as a PGSSLC and benefit my applications to managerial positions in the healthcare industry.
As an elected member of the PGSSLC representing the views of the students on my postgraduate course, it is my responsibility along with two other students to encourage our class mates to bring forward issues about the course that concern them and then forward these to the relevant staff in order to resolve them. As a group of students we take turns to chair the discussion and record minutes from the meetings. Therefore, I hope from attending this scheme I will not only understand what type of leadership style suits me, but approaches to get the most out of the people I represent.
From the first session I further developed my understanding of my preferred roles according to the Belbin self-perception profile and the importance of balancing the types of roles within a team. Furthermore, the results from the Myers-Briggs type indicator (MBTI) and dimensions we answered during the session highlighted a slight difference between my (ENFJ) Extraverted Feeling with Introverted Intuition and (ESTJ) Extraverted Thinking with Introverted Sensing.
ENFJ preferences are highly attuned to others, using empathy to quickly understand emotional needs, motivations and concerns. Their focus is supporting others and encouraging their growth. They are considered friendly persuaders who often act as catalysts, including everyone and drawing out the best in other people.
ESTJ preferences like to organise projects, procedures and people, then act to get things done. They live by a set of clear standards and expect the same of others. Therefore enjoying interaction and working with others as long as the others are responsible about meeting deadlines and completing assigned tasks.
Comparing the two, although I would prefer to complete a task step by step, building towards the deadline and maybe finishing with time to spare I understand that others operate differently and believe I have developed to accommodate different approaches to work effort. Considering this, I think ENFJ preferences are my most suited leadership style.
As a leader I would like to be:
Understanding and show empathy to others. Take the time to get to know people in order to draw the best out of them. Be inspiring, warm and strong minded and decisive when needed. Basing decisions on principles, system, overall impacts and rational assessment of outcomes. Plus, strive for harmony and a supportive environment where followers know I respect their values.
I would like to learn effective techniques to get the most out of even the most quiet people. For example, to draw out opinions from our class mates concerning the course we have set up facebook pages where people can post issues from the comfort of their own home. However, this is still not entirely anonymous - therefore we could implement a feedback or petition which members of the class could sign if they agree with the issue.
I would like to implement the understanding of my preferred leadership style and Belbin roles to my continued academic group projects. Although often these assignments are too short to consider effective group work in great detail I will try to asses the contribution of others and understand which approaches will get the most out of each other.
In order to further my understanding and empathy with others I will also try to spend more time with individuals with course concerns to improve their confidence in bringing issues forward and illustrate that they will be listened to and addressed.
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