When Clare became a Service Leader at Thistle Foundation she quickly enrolled on our Leading Others course, ground-breaking training open to all health and social care practitioners.
Clare participated on Thistle’s Leading Others training course in Autumn 2015. The training is split over two periods; a 3 day residential in Callander followed by a 2 day residential around two months later. ‘Taking the time out of your everyday routine and all the distractions that come with it was so helpful,’ explains Clare. ‘When you do training in the office there’s always the temptation to go back to your desk during the break and check emails, or to check your phone. In Callander you can just focus on learning.’
Many health and social care organisations across Scotland refer practitioners onto the course to strengthen their leadership skills, so as well as getting away from the desk, there’s the opportunity to meet new people and encounter new perspectives and approaches. The residential aspect also provides other opportunities, ‘we lived together, made meals together – it created a very informal, comfortable environment,’ explains Clare. ‘We were asked to organise an event and were split into three teams; one team did the cooking, another dressed the table and another organised entertainment – it became its own project – looking at how teams form and work together.’
Clare had previously worked as a personal assistant at Freespace and started the training soon after becoming a service leader at Thistle. ‘As a PA I hadn’t quite realised all the different jobs that service leaders do – it gave me a lot more understanding and confidence, particularly in dealing with conflict and challenging situations,’ she explains.
In between the two residential stays participants start working on their own project, supported by a sponsor within their organisation. ‘This makes you put what you’re learning into practice,’ says Clare, ‘and it keeps you connected with your learning. There’s also an essay at the end – but none of it is pressured or overly academic. It’s a lot of work but it’s very relaxed and beneficial.’
‘The best thing about the course though is Phil’ continues Clare, ‘he makes you ambitious to make change and shows you that change is possible. He’s a maverick really; he’s unaffiliated to any organisation, he speaks clearly and with passion and makes things feel achievable.’