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August 2016

Developing leadership skills at the Summer Institute

We’re half way through our 2016 Summer Institute, and this week our participants have been learning about leadership. Leadership is an important part of the Think Ahead curriculum, because mental health social workers need the ability to make difficult judgement calls and influence others.

During this week’s teaching, participants took the Myers Briggs Personality Indicator Test. “I’ve never done anything like it before,” said participant Tom Heanue. “It’s helped me to be more self-aware, and to understand my preferred state of working. It’ll help in social work because it helped me to understand different types of people, and how to interact with, engage and influence both service users and people in my team.”

Participants also heard from the Clore Leadership Programme in a panel event. Speakers included Clore Chief Executive Shaks Ghosh, and fellows Sinem Cakir, the Chief Executive of youth mental health charity MAC-UK, Ivo Gormley, founder of social enterprise GoodGym and Gareth Dix, founder of Exhale, a health poverty charity.

Knowing what drives me and what drains me allows me to lead in the best possible way.

Sinem Cakir, Chief Executive of MAC-UK

Speaking after the panel, participant Vicky Hastie said, “Something that really struck me was that the speakers talked about not being the complete finished, polished article – and that’s ok. We’re still learning and it’s ok not to know everything. They also talked about leadership being all about relationships, if you have good relationships with people, you’ll be a good leader.”

The Think Ahead programme offers the opportunity to develop leadership skills, training participants to lead change to create the conditions for great practice and ensuring the unique role that social workers can play in mental health services is understood and valued.

Throughout the week our participants have also been learning about childcare law, person-centred care and the importance of social inclusion and advocacy in mental health social work.

You can follow more from our Summer Institute at #ThinkAheadSI

Read about our Week One and Week Two