I did have some concerns prior to the course. I thought it would be theory based, like a text book and it would be scripted and that it would not be relevant to real world experience. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to discuss things that were relevant to me but only things in the manual. Or that we’d role play based on the manual.
I found the ‘doing’ nature of the course most valuable. The exercises were real because they were our experiences.
I wanted to challenge staff as part of the leadership process, have the difficult conversations and manage change constructively so people don’t go into an avoidance process or make shallow/superficial changes.
I wanted to be able to communicate to parents so they understand and comply with the expected behaviour of parents and children without alienating them. And it was important to be an effective negotiator both inside and outside of work.
After the course I now feel empowered to manage change and negotiate my way through obstacles constructively. I feel that I can empower others and that the school environment will become richer and more meaningful. I know I can hear what people are saying, understand their perspective and develop strategies to lead, manage and negotiate change successfully.
I’ve learnt PERFECT goals create a process for change and that change that is planned can be challenging, even frightening but proactive models of change are empowering and successful.
I’m able to view the world from different points of view and can see, hear and feel how other people think and act. I am conscious of the environment and the messages that are out there.
If anyone was considering doing this course I would say that it’s the most powerful way to learn how to truly communicate with other people. I learnt that the power of communication isn’t simply based on talking or sending email reminders; but on listening to the words spoken by people and paying attention to and responding to their body language. By using these cues to base one’s communication on, one can effectively establish open communication.
I love using the sensory based language and body language every day and it works really well when talking to parents – both happy and upset parents. In terms of working with staff the model is really effective as it’s personal and I’m told that, ‘You listen to us, you may not do what we want, but at least you listen to us’.
A great way to learn. Many thanks. Stephanie was personal, friendly, supportive, empowering, challenging and inspirational.