Leadership and followership
Leadership and followership

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Leadership and followership

1 What have you learned?

This course has covered a wide range of topics relating to leadership and followership. Some of the themes may be more familiar to you than others, but hopefully each week has offered ideas and suggestions that are relevant and interesting.

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Figure 1 Reviewing your learning.

By this stage in the course, you should be feeling more comfortable with reflection, and your leadership journal should be well underway. By now, you should have settled on a good time of day to add your thoughts to it and be starting to develop a style that you feel comfortable with.

Leadership expert, Professor Jean Hartley is very clear on the benefits of taking a reflective approach. She offers her advice here:

Download this video clip.Video player: lf_1_video_week8_hartley.mp4
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Leadership development happens in all sorts of ways, but reflection is absolutely at the core of leadership development. If you look at any courses, any study that people do, any workshops, there will always be, well pretty much I would say, some elements of reflection, getting people to think about their practise, getting people to think about how people are behaving towards them and so on. So reflection is really important.
And I would say that of all the really experienced and effective leaders I've worked with, reflection is just a habit of mind. They do it all the time. They are continuously monitoring themselves. And sometimes, they will do it in more formal ways- keeping a journal, keeping a diary, jotting down points, talking with trusted friends about their leadership, and so on.
So what is it about reflection that really helps? Well, I think leadership is one of those practises, one of those skills if you like, that really benefits from what we might call rehearsal. It isn't rehearsal on a stage as though you were an actor. But the more that you practise things, hopefully, the better you will get at it. And that rehearsal is in a sense done through reflection.
So you may run a meeting or have to put a project proposal to people more senior to you or whatever. If you are able to rerun that in your head and really reflect on it, write it down, that will really help you. And the great thing about reflection is you can do it several times over. Let's take giving a presentation to more senior colleagues to you. You can reflect on it once from your own position. What did I say? How did I start? Did I get across the right ideas succinctly? Did I get across the purpose? A whole set of questions to yourself.
But then, your second reflection might be to think, so what did it look like for the person listening, the person sitting right opposite me, for example? What would it look like to them? How would I have come across as a leader to that person? And what about that person fiddling with their phone just on the left of my eyesight? What was going on for them, and how could I either get or keep their attention in the future? So I think the great thing about reflection is you can do it over and over, not obsessively, but sufficient to really get very, very good nuggets out of that situation.
So reflecting internally is very useful, but so can be reflecting with other people so long as they're trusted people. You might want to ask, how did I do there? Do you think my start was strong enough? Did I get my point across clearly but not over dominantly or whatever? You need to be careful not to come across as underconfident in asking other people. But I think if you ask for feedback, how did I do rather than do you think I did good enough, and so you don't betray any lack of confidence, then that can be really helpful.
End transcript
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Activity 1 Reviewing your learning

Timing: Allow about 40 minutes

Reviewing your journal entries so far, alongside your notes and responses to each activity throughout the course, what have been your key learning points from each week? These notes don’t need to be comprehensive – two or three bullet points will serve to crystallise your thinking. If you’ve been doing this at the end of each week anyway, use this space to bring those thoughts together.

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Summarising your learning points here will demonstrate how your knowledge of leadership and followership has grown and developed over the last eight weeks. This should be an inspiring activity – if you can learn something new about leadership and followership from 24 hours of study, just think what you can achieve during your career!


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