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Leadership Workshop by TeachFirst

December 5, 2011

Preparation

I received an email regarding the workshop on 29/11/11, stating that the Leadership Workshop will be taking place on 5/12/11 at various times and that places would be very limited. Therefore, I checked my diary, saw that 1-3pm was the most convenient time and replied to the email in order to secure my place at the Workshop. I felt that this would be a very important session to improve my Leadership Skills,because I don’t have very much experience in this field.

Participation 

The first thing I had to do at the start of the Workshop was to write down a time where I was a leader. I used the example from my teaching experience in Sri Lanka (mentioned in my Skills Audit) where I acted as a leader in the classroom as well as in sporting activities. This was returned to later on in the session.

Next I had to pick a quote off the wall which I felt linked best with Leadership, and I chose “Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person”, from Mother Teresa. I was the only person who chose this one, but I was asked to explain why, and I interpreted it to mean that in a time of crisis you cannot simply wait for a leader to appear, you need to take charge. I felt that this person who bravely comes forward and takes control is worthy of being a respectable leader.

Then as a group we had to pick a leader from the board (including Political, Business and Wartime leaders) and identify their Leadership skills. I suggested Martin Luther King Jnr., the group agreed and we highlighted three of his key skills:

  1. Public Speaking;
  2. The ability to encourage others to get involved in the cause;
  3. Great courage and passion for his beliefs.
I acted on the quote from earlier, and instead of waiting for others I elected to take charge and read the ideas out to the other groups. I also said that we felt that these skills are relevant for most leaders, in spite of who they are leading and the aims they are trying to achieve. We also discussed how personality is very important to leaders, for example the charm and charisma of someone like Barack Obama, who is a very young and fresh leader, with the ability to lead others.
Later, we looked at some points and we had to decide whether they described Leadership or Management Skills. When asked to share our views, I did contradict the views of our group. I agreed to an extent, however I acted on a good quote from Tony Blair, “The art of leadership is saying no, not saying yes. It is very easy to say yes.” I agreed strongly with this quote, and I chose to disagree with the group’s views as I felt differently. I feel this showed good Leadership skills, by not simply taking things as given.
Our penultimate task was to build a freestanding giraffe from newspaper and tape, and once again I nominated myself as leader, and I helped to delegate tasks and organise the building of the giraffe, whilst also taking part myself. Finally, I was lucky to have my Leadership example read out at the end, and the Workshop coordinator said it was a very good example, however it could be developed by giving specific details such as the content of the lessons, as well as the quantity and age of the pupils involved.

Action

I haven’t taken any immediate actions following the Workshop, but I can certainly use this  experience to take actions in the future. For example, when completing a CV or when at an interview, I now know how to sell my skills better, like the example of my Teaching Experience. Furthermore, I now want to try and develop my own skills and hopefully become a more respectable leader, similarly to some of the leaders we looked at, but of course on a much smaller scale, in Seminars and as my role as Course Rep. I also managed to do some Networking with the representatives of TeachFirst, which run a teaching scheme which I have heard of before. They mentioned that they had both taken part in the scheme, which led to them getting their jobs as Workshop Coordinators. They said that we could contact them for any information, and I also picked up a booklet and asked some additional information, like when to apply to the scheme.

Reflection

I feel that this Workshop went very successfully, as I am now aware of the major qualities required to be a good leader. I can now try to emulate these skills, such as the art of public speaking, which is one of the areas I feel that I lack in, and also develop those which I currently possess, such as a likeable personality.

The skills I utilised the most included Public Speaking, where I spoke out in front of the rest of the group quite confidently, making my points clear and projecting my voice effectively, so others could hear. This was a skill which I learned to develop at the Speaking with Confidence Workshop. Another skill I used was effective Communication with the rest of my group, where I was able to share my ideas with them, but also to listen carefully to their ideas as well. Therefore, I was able to sum up all of the points into one concise list, for example when choosing the key skills possessed by Martin Luther King Jnr. I also helped to give our group Direction several times by taking the lead and ensuring that we were heading toward the desired goals, such as building a giraffe from paper.

The main skill which I still need to improve on is Delegating, as this was the only skill I marked as a 2 on my Skills Audit, as I felt that I didn’t have much experience with this. However, in this Workshop while making the giraffe, I did take the lead and I helped to Delegate tasks among the group, giving each member a specific role in order to reach our desired aim.

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From → Workshops

3 Comments
  1. Thanks for the good read 🙂

    • Dear Lina,

      Thank you for reading a commenting on my Leadership Workshop post. I have just read your ‘Leadership Quality’ post and it was very interesting. It was great to look at the different “shades” of Leaders and how they are present in all leaders, but one is always that bit stronger.

      Could I ask who you are and what you do? I’m currently a student at the University of Leicester, England. I’m studying English, with the prospect of maybe becoming a teacher.

      Many thanks,

      Nathan

  2. Just wanted to reply and say nice site, great to read from people with knowledge of this.

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