Week 3 Working with identity, reflection and difference


Last week, you were introduced to the idea of identity as important for learning about and practising collaborative leadership in order to tackle wicked problems. This week’s focus is on ourselves as people deeply involved in leadership work. Guiding our exploration this week will be this simple question: what kind of work can we do on ourselves in order to make us more engaged and critical participants in collaborative leadership?

In order to address this question we will cover two areas. The first is how we might become more responsive and appreciative of our own identities and those that are different to ours: opening ourselves up to collaborative leadership possibilities. The second is a reflection on some important identities that seem to predominate in the voluntary sector and the potential of these identities to form the basis for collaborative work. Ellen discusses these two areas in the next section.

By the end of this week you will be able to:

  • reflect on the sources of your own professional identity
  • reflect on how your professional identity has adapted over time
  • reflect on the difference at the heart of your identity and how these differences might signal the possibility for developing new conversations and working relationships
  • describe and discuss the range of identities associated with the voluntary sector and how these may, or may not, be useful for a practice of collaborative leadership.

1 Ellen reflects on difference