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Ruhana from DfT on Developing her Leadership Skills

Category: testimonial, Women in Leadership, Personal Development, opportunities, engage, PROJECTS, specific, department for transport, leadership skills, structure, reflect

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I've stepped into leadership

Ruhana Begum, Maritime Trade and International Policy Division talks about taking up a leadership role at the Department for Transport (DfT).

Developing my leadership skills has been on my personal development for a number of years now.

I’ve always sought opportunities to lead specific projects but never attended a structured course until last year.

My time on this course is drawing to end and I will miss having the time away from the office to engage with such a great group of people, reflecting on our skills, attributes and behaviours and pushing each other to succeed in our personal goals.

The Stepping into Leadership programme was originally tailored for senior managers, but last year the programme was offered to middle managers with high potential.

We were required to submit a written application and for those successful candidates who were shortlisted, we were invited to an interview, which consisted of a presentation and interview - consisting of one question, so I felt the need to go on and on and on!

Personal highlights

Some of my personal highlights include learning about storytelling as a means of connecting with people and inspiring others.

In one of our first sessions, all of us were required to share details about a difficult event in our lives that has inspired us to strive for excellence. This session became quite emotional for most of us and I found this session very powerful and it has stuck with me to this date.

We also did a session where we provided feedback to each other on our 'presence' and how we made others feel when we participated in previous discussions. Getting constructive feedback and learning from my peers has been incredibly useful. 

There’s quite a lot of emphasis on coaching others within this course and in-between the taught sessions.

We were required to form coaching triads whereby one person discusses an actual problem, one person coaches that person to find solutions to their problem and the third person observes and provides feedback to the coach.

It’s been useful to be able to talk about issues without fearing judgement from others and receiving genuine support to overcome those problems.

We have now started doing Action Research Groups where we coach an individual but they receive support from a much larger group. This has also been an incredibly useful platform to bounce ideas off each other.

There’s also quite a bit of independent learning involved in this course which consists of watching Ted talks and reading articles to supplement the taught sessions.

Highly recommended

I highly recommend this course and it should be noted that several people from this year’s cohort have secured promotions since starting this course.



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