Do we always hear what we are being told? | Uniting AgeWell Leadership Program

9 May 2016 By Charisse Ede, Uniting AgeWell

Day three of our Leadership Victoria / Uniting AgeWell Leadership Program saw us learning about effective communication and adaptive leadership.

Do we always hear what we are being told? Do people hear our messages? Are we communicating effectively with our peers, or our staff? How can we improve our communications to ensure all people receive the message?

We looked at five essential communications of effective leaders – do what you say and lead by example; make complex issues simple so staff can understand what they mean for them; find your own voice; be visible, not aloof; and listen with your eyes as well as your ears. If the way you are communicating is not effective, you might need to try another strategy.

Our guest speakers were informative and thought-provoking. Their expertise in the aged care sector sparked interesting debate and ideas about how we, as leaders, prepare our organisation for the future.

We explored leadership qualities and values – was Mother Theresa a great leader? What were her values and ethics? Were they in line with our own values? And what about Hitler? Or Nelson Mandela? Or Julia Gillard?

Many of these leaders were successful for their ability to inspire and draw people together, for their ability to communicate effectively, or their ability to adapt to change.  But some ultimately failed because of their compromised ethics or values.

A key learning of the day was how to be an adaptive leader. We looked at approaches to adaptive challenges, managing self, energising others and intervening skilfully. Leadership Victoria put us through our paces by asking us to devise solutions for key issues facing our industry and organisation specifically, and how we would overcome these challenges. 

Putting the skills into practise, even if hypothetically at this stage, is a great way of ensuring we truly understand what we are learning.

9 May 2016