Monday, 2 October 2017

Maternity leave

Next steps: Found on

I will be on maternity leave for a little while.
Come back later to hear about my new role as Lecturer in Higher Education, coaching, mentoring and becoming a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Using the GROW coaching model to help someone reach SFHEA status

As part of my interview for my new role as Lecturer in Higher Education, I was asked to deliver a ten minute presentation prior to the questions. This is fairly common in the education sector and makes sense in any sort of teaching role as you are showing that you can present knowledgably and engagingly, even when incredibly nervous, as well keep to time (a very important and often underused skill).

The topic was:

“My approach to supporting an experienced and senior academic begin to apply for Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy”

I have never helped anyone gain Senior Fellowship before; however, I have had many conversations with experienced and senior academics and, while I still have some of the wounds, I believe I've learned a lot from them. As many of you know, I'm a great believer in the power of coaching and think it can be enormously beneficial, so I decided to take this approach and use the GROW model to demonstrate it.

GROW is a coaching model acronym which stands for Goal, Reality, Options and Will.

I talked about how finding out what the Goal was for the academic - why were they trying to achieve SFHEA status? Had they been told to do it? Was it something they knew the value of? If I knew their motivations I would be able to better support them.

I then moved onto Reality. Did they meet the criteria of the UKPSF Framework? The accreditations for the Higher Education Academy are not hierarchical; for example, a highly established researcher may be very eminent in her field but if she doesn't support the teaching of others then she will not meet the criteria for Senior Fellowship and would be better going for Fellowship instead.

Options included how I could support the academic: through different types of workshops, through a mentor programme, through providing templates and so on.

With Will, I discussed investigating the level of motivation and commitment of the academic. Ultimately, the process was up to them and it's important they understand this.

In a bid for extra authenticity, alongside my explanations of how I could enable a person to grow and flourish, I was able to include lots of pictures of gardening, seeds and vegetables (another area of life I'm passionate about). It felt very apt!

My new role will involve much more mentoring and coaching so I am really looking forward to putting this into practice and I hope in future to be able to complete a coaching qualification to cement and add credibility to my work.

Friday, 25 August 2017

New job & New baby = New challenges!

Many of you know that I completed the Aurora course this year. It's a leadership development programme for women in higher education and I wrote about it recently for CILIP Update. I thoroughly enjoyed it and have recommended it to several of my colleagues since. I've also espoused some of the lessons learned in my guest lecture to new library and information professionals studying on the UCL Masters course.

I've not only been giving advice to others but have really taken on board what I learned during the programme. I was challenged to think critically about how I present myself to others, whether I show I have the courage of my own convictions and how I bring my whole self to whatever situation I'm in.

In conjunction with the Aurora programme I was provided with a mentor and they both helped me to determine my own strengths, values, passions and weaknesses and how they align with the job I currently do.

It became clear to me that I'm passionate about helping others develop and I love teaching, learning new things and inspiring others to do the same hence my 'considered' drift over the last few years towards coaching, social media workshops, and educational development.

I've now taken it one step further and am delighted to finally officially announce that from 18th September I will be taking up a new role at Brunel University London as Lecturer in Higher Education, based in Brunel Educational Excellence Centre (BEEC). I will be able to focus more on doing what I am passionate about including coaching and supporting others. Two weeks after I start I will be going on maternity leave for the second time which will undoubtedly bring its own challenges; however, I will have something very exciting to return to.

I will, of course, be very sad to leave the Library where I've worked for five years; however, I still expect to continue seeing my colleagues as the departments have always worked closely together and I will only be across the concourse when I return.

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