Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Introversion in leadership

Anyone who has been reading my blog will know that I have been doing some leadership development. What has been absolutely fascinating to me in all of this, is the work I have done to help me to better understand myself. The theory and profiling that I have done is not unfamiliar to me, but the way in which we have been learning has been high impact. Group work involving the women leaders (my peers in my course) has enabled me to both understand why I feel, act and think in the ways that I do, as well as to better appreciate the perspectives of others. As one of the few introverts (Myers-Briggs definition) in the group, I have done some further reading around the area. I am particularly interested in the work of Susan Cain who herself is an introvert. I am currently reading her book (Quiet: The Power of Introverts) and it has really made me stop and think about how we organise learning in universities. We ask our students to work in small and large groups and in my experience offer students very little time to work quietly in the university environment. Yes - there are 'gaps' in the timetable and defined guided study. But I don't think that we properly consider the needs of introverts in what is a world that values extroversion. Susan Cain's work is a fascinating start in my thoughts around this area. Mainly I am happy that I am normal and not weird in the ways that I thought I was!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Students - aren't they amazing!

I have just finished marking some student dissertations today. As always, I come away from this process feeling that nursing education leads to the development of individuals who demonstrate strong academic ability, thoughtfulness in relation to the evidence-base, and commitment to the profession through their engagement with the learning process. I hope that they keep the attitudes, skills and characteristics that they have developed over the past 4 years as they move into newly-qualified roles in practice. One of the areas that interests me is how people's attitudes can change as they work in clinical areas. I realise that the last sentence is a sweeping statement and one which only applies to some people. However, I am optimistic that the change to the NMC Standards (and therefore to the education that we are all providing) will impact positively on practice - through students who are prepared for the realities of contemporary (and future) practice, and through a shift in perspective that should impact on the way in which nursing is viewed across the multi-professional team.