Authors: Sophie Turnbull, Kirsten Westmoreland, Lucy Wright

The workshop provided a rare opportunity to step away from the day-to-day tasks that consume our lives as a researcher, to get see ourselves and leadership role in a broader context. This was facilitated by the approach of the teaching faculty, the format of the workshop, the broad range of backgrounds and experiences of the other participants and the ambiance of the venue. In the short time, we collectively created where we felt comfortable to share our own experiences (both positive and negative) and were able to listen and learn from how others had managed challenging situations.

The outdoor practical ‘leaderless’ activity was approached with trepidation by some group members and excitement by others. But we all felt that the experience was powerful in the way it clearly highlighted key learning points such as: keeping an eye on the time, discussing and explaining the vision or goal at the beginning to help foster understanding, dividing the task into two as a more efficient use of people’s time, and being aware of where you can help team members who are working on other each other tasks within a project. We’d like to thank the team for providing us the opportunity to reflect on our previous experience of leadership and we look forwards to future opportunities with more tools at our disposal.

“Overall, I now feel much more prepared to take initiative in my work and handle the unique set of challenges that myself and others face when just starting out in a research career.”

“Through active leadership exercises and opportunities for self-reflection combined with discussion and lectures on existing theories of leadership, this workshop was both well-rounded and thorough, my only complaint being that we couldn’t stay longer.”
Kirsten Westmoreland

“It helped me to step away from my day to day work and see myself and my leadership style/ role, etc in a broader context.”
Lucy Wright