A number of years ago, the American military coined the acronym, VUCA. This stands for volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. In such a time as this, it has become even more important that individuals, teams and organisations invest in ensuring they are able to respond to the challenges ahead. Whether at work or in our private lives, by focusing on building relationships and learning to listen to one another we can all thrive and flourish whatever our roles.
I have significant and extensive experience in strategic leadership and management in the public sector. As an educationalist I have wide ranging skills in educational management, additional support needs, curriculum development, lifelong professional learning and resource deployment. I love supporting people in their own growth and have invested heavily in sector leading approaches to professional learning. Here are a few examples:
Leadership Support and Development
Senior leaders need time and space to grow and flourish. Through collaborative and cooperative approaches, a bespoke programme of leadership development activities, one to one coaching, mentoring or facilitated workshops can be delivered.
Mentoring and Coaching
Mentoring and coaching are not synonymous. However, the related skills bring opportunities for an elicitive rather than prescriptive approach to individual growth. Senior leaders need a critical friend with whom they can build trust, and who is able to ask challenging questions, in order to develop their own skills and competence in their role. Through facilitated discussion and questioning, the individual will be guided to become a more reflective and reflexive practitioner who is able to recognise their own strengths and development needs.
Mediation and Conflict Resolution
Mediation is a flexible approach that can be used to settle disputes in a wide range of situations. The mediator helps parties work out what their issues and options are so they can then use those options to work out an agreement. As an experienced registered mediator, I can facilitate a confidential discussion aimed at agreeing a solution when there is a disagreement.
Conflict coaching can support peoples’ confidence and competence in engaging in, managing, and productively resolving conflict. In this process, the conflict coach works on a one-to-one basis dealing with a conflict situation. It enables the individual to talk about the conflict with a neutral third party, consider options for managing the conflict and develop an approach to discuss the conflict with the other person.
There are occasions where it can be helpful to commission an external and independent individual to undertake an investigation process in order to clarify and document a serious challenge facing an organisation, team or individual. Fact finding investigations can help to identify destructive patterns within the organisation system. This can be particularly important when an individual is accused of a breach of trust, malfeasance or sexual misconduct.
Building the confidence and competence of managers is key to improving outcomes for the organisation. Training for individual leaders and/or members of a team in a broad range of management skills and strategies can be tailored to meet specific needs. This can include: building a team, change and project management, prioritising what really matters, reflective practice, engaging with conflict, discipline and grievance and making the most of your resources.
There are occasions where it may be helpful to engage an external individual to facilitate a meeting or series of meetings, with or without preliminary data-gathering. Perhaps the subject matter is particularly sensitive, or someone who is not involved could allow discussion and engagement to happen more freely.
If you would like to discuss how I can help you in any of these areas as an external and independent consultant, please get in touch.