Earnestly tumbling down the leadership rabbit hole


On 8th May 2019, two eager Wordbirds entered the IPA for an intense day of Advanced Leadership training. Feeling slightly daunted by the immense agenda for the day, Gwyn quickly put us at ease with her passion for training and way of breaking down the cascades of information into manageable chunks.

We took away so much from our day, but here is a highlight of the top 5 things we learnt:

1. There are 7 leadership qualities that anyone can grow into.

  1. Begin with the end in mind – this means having a firm understanding of where you’re heading
  2. Always look for the win-win
  3. Share credit, shoulder responsibility
  4. Pitch in
  5. Never throw your people under the bus
  6. It’s hard to be both liked and respected
  7. Look the part – this will help with confidence

2. Emotional intelligence requires self-awareness, self-regulation and empathy. Know you’re stress triggers.

“In most jobs, emotional intelligence accounts for twice as much IQ in variance in performance. For leaders it proves to be four times as important”
Daniel Goleman

3. You can’t give enough praise. Just as long as it’s sincere. Ratio of 3/1 (praise/criticism) is the minimum. If you’re giving any less than this, it could indicate poor performance

4. Situational leadership: There are 4 different levels of delegation depending on the level of experience:

Directive – don’t take any action on the particular point until you have consulted me
Coaching – get on with the job but keep me closely informed of progress
Supporting – get on with the job but let me know if you need advice or help
Delegating – get on with the job and let me know what happens afterwards

5. Transactional analysis: when we interact with people, our state mind affects what happens. There are 3 states of mind in all humans, no matter how old they are. These are called ego states.

  1. Parent
  2. Adult
  3. Child

You should think about what state of mind people are in when delegating to them. If someone is in child mode, don’t speak to them in parent mode. Instead, try speaking to them in adult mode – it might even bring them round to adult mode too.

By Emma Marsh, inspired leader in training