2 Year Modular Development Programme:
"During the early stages of my project I felt I faced 3 main challenges with my academic supervisors.
1. Building a shared understanding and clarity on the problem I was trying to solve, given the complexity involved and different perceptions around the table.
2. Supervisor management, in terms of getting feedback on work I’d completed and organising progress meetings.
3. Adapting to a ‘teacher-pupil’ relationship, given I was an experienced student who wasn’t used to being in an academic environment.
I found that the communication aspects of the course really helped to highlight how different people develop their own internal representations of a problem or situation, which explained why my supervisors and I had differences in opinion on the problems I was trying to solve. I set out to understand their views and ways of communicating, which led to us quickly developing a shared picture of my problem that laid the foundations for what I ultimately developed.
In terms of managing my supervisors and my supervisory relationship, I feel the emphasis of the course content on establishing clarity of goals and expectations amongst teams really helped to get my supervisors to buy-in to my ‘vision of finished’ for my project. By committing to a shared goal I found they became more motivated to provide feedback and communicated more regularly. Towards the end of my project both myself and my supervisors noted how we’d progressed from a ‘teacher-pupil’ relationship to one more akin to colleagues within a business.
One clear area where the course content has supported me since moving on is through my interest in rugby league. After the course I decided to volunteer as junior chairperson at my local club and thought I’d try and apply what I learned about leadership. I found the course content gave me the confidence to set a mission statement for the junior section and this clarity of common purpose inspired almost a dozen people from within the club to get involved in our project. We went from nothing to delivering a junior playing season to over 60 children in less than a year, culminating in a finals day that involved over 100 people. I still consider it to be one of my greatest achievements and I’ve gone on to undertake work with an Olympic legacy charity; mentoring other community sports organisations to achieve their goals."
Dr Stafford Lloyd, Rolls Royce