Monday, 21 February 2011

Emotionally Intelligent Leaders

What inspired me to write?
Today I heard from someone about the possibility of further cuts in the public sector, for training and developing the leaders and managers of services to children and families..
I feel concerned when I hear this because I have worked with so many of these leaders over the years; in London and across the UK: teachers, childminders, children centre managers, nursery managers, social workers ELLPS and those completing the EYPS. With people from privately funded and public funded groups and I I hear about the high demands of their roles. They give so much and receive such little support.

At the beginning of every new programme that I facilitate, we spend time getting to know each other and I ask:

“What is it that you would really want from this training?”
My LEAD participants always say the same things I want:..
• to know I am doing it right.
• more confidence
• to be able to deal with conflict
• to feel less stressed
• communicate more clearly
• manage my feelings
• to know how to communicate with my line manager in a way that she will listen and I won’t feel anxious.
• to work with my team
• to show who I really am?
• to manage my anger?
• to know how to get others to understand me…
• to get support?
Sometimes as they express their needs, their feelings of overwhelm, anxiety and stress are released and maybe there are a few tears. For some, this is the very first time they have been able to express these feelings, that they have been carrying for years.

No, this is not therapy, it is it is a professional development programme, but it is a programme that works personally with the participants and offers communication, emotional and social skills development.
In addition to the unmet needs that they share, they also share fun, joy and celebration about how they contribute to the lives of children and families and of working collaboratively together as a team and they work together to develop the competencies and skills that they need to lead effectively in their roles..
Emotionally containing models of CPD in our profession, where participants are able to discuss and highlight the emotional complexity of their work in my opinion are so very necessary. There are still few trainers with the skill and experience to offer this opportunity to the sector.

Elfer, Peter and Dearnley, Katy (2007) document the significance of this work in their article: 'Nurseries and emotional well-being: the authors evaluate an emotionally containing model of professional development' for childcare staff
Conclusions of their work gives evidence that when participants were able to discuss and highlight the emotional complexity of their work there were significant shifts in interactions with the children and the parents. I am convinced that when leaders and managers are able to do this too, there is a significant shift in their interactions with their staff; this impacts the culture of the setting and consequently impacts the children and their families.

On my 4 day LEAD course which is delivered over a period of 6 weeks participants are supported to identify their needs and to develop strategies to meet them. They deepen their reflective practice, develop their skills in coaching and mentoring. They gain conscious awareness of their values, Nonviolent/compassionate communication and the work of Marshall Rosenberg, decision making techniques and leadership styles.
This is just one CPD training that supports leaders and managers.
If you are interested in this and other trainings, events and services see

The next LEAD event commences 10th March and is being delivered in Bromley, for other dates and to book a place, see
I look forward to working with you.......

"People are like stained glass windows: they sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light within” -- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross


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