All entries for January 2012

January 29, 2012

Final summary of Leadership section

Follow-up to Follow Up 2 from Matt's blog

So here we are, at my final post for the leadership section of the Skills Portfoli!

The skills that I have learned here, through planning how to lead a group project, as well as general skills that can be applied to other areas of life, I think will be useful as I continue through life. I have learned that leadership oppertunities come in all shapes and sizes, and although I am not seeing many clear-cut situations in which to lead a group of people in the formal sense, I can apply the skills to other areas of my life, and these work equally well! For example, setting checkpoints was one of the things I learned in the original seminar, and I am applying this to all my work, hence effectively "leading myself" through it, in a structured way. Furthermore, I really think that through reflecting on social situations, I'm becoming more of an assertive person (another seminar I attended), with regard to looking for circumstances in which I can take charge and make a difference (something which I would rarely do before; leaving these kinds of things to other people was something I was often guilty of!)

I have decided to leave the leadership scheme until next year, when I hopefully have some more clear-cut experience of leading formal projects, as I feel this would be more beneficial to me. However, I fully intend to continue the reflection I have started here, and am always on the lookout for leadership oppertunities!

One final though; I think one of the main things that I have learned through all of this reflection on Leadership skills, is that being a leader is more a state of mind affair. I am no longer of the opinion that some people are born leaders, and others are more about following. I think before I thought of myself as someone who could lead small projects, but would shy away from taking on anything challenging of this kind, but now I have learned the skills to take charge, and the confidence is there to actively take control and aim for something bigger that I can really get involved in!

Thanks for the seminar, and the feedback pieces :)


January 17, 2012

Follow Up 2

Follow-up to Follow Up 1 from Matt's blog

I thought I'd leave the post until back at university (as the whole holiday has been devoted to numerous essays and revising for a methods exam!)

My first action point that I've been focussing on throughout not only my essays but also my revision, has been to split large tasks down into manageable chunks, and effectively "lead" myself to achieve certain milestones with relation to these pieces of work. If we take a look at the first task: revising for my exam. This involved reading nearly 50 case studies, and become familiar with the problems and subsequent solutions that related to the methods. I decided to make a conscious effort to set milestones of reading a set number every day, and make notes, before a certain date on which I would review my progress. In addition, with regard to making notes, I effectively recruited 3 other people and organised which case studies we would each make particularly detailed notes on, and collaborated with them when term began.

I also organised a house meeting to limit the amount of electricity being used, as well as putting a cap on the heating allowance each day. This was completely against how I would normally act (running the meeting) but i feel gave me good experience in effectively running a debate, as well as organising where everyone should meet, and at what time etc.

The team project is coming along nicely - we have lost a team member, but added another to the group, so more organisation was needed here to bring them up to scratch on the ideas. I was thinking about what I learned in the first seminar with regard to setting up mind mapping sessions, to see what everyone's ideas were, and I set up a meeting with this in mind within the first week. We now have the proposal for our project sorted, and I have designated wider reading areas to each person!

In search for new leadership oppertunities, I've applied to be a research assistant for two lecturers in the psychology department, looking to run experiments and lead groups of people through these. I figure, if this teaches me nothing else apart from how to organise when the experiments are run and so forth, it will look pretty good on my CV!

That's about all for now!

January 2012

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