It’s not easy to do a report back because it’s a very personal journey.
The Aurora Institute for Emerging Leaders was held at Q Station, Sydney. It’s picturesque. This is the view from my room.
This photo must be removed from the slides before sharing on staff blog
20th Aurora Institute 24 Aurorans from Australia, New Zealand, & Singapore 4 + 2 Mentors
The program, the facilitators, the mentors, and the participants are all wonderful people. I didn’t know anyone in the group but I left with a brand new network of like-minded people. We are very passionate about the work we do, we genuinely support each other, and want everyone to succeed.
It was an intense week. There’s a lot of take in, learn, and practice. I’m very reflective, at the end of the day I spent about an hour to write down what I’ve learnt, how I feel, things to follow up etc. So I didn’t get a lot of sleep during that week.
Inspiring Fire side chats every night before dinner, mentors shared their stories. Very valuable, they’re the highlight of the week.
Tai Chi in the morning, “say hello to your kidneys!”. We learnt about the importance of breathing, mindfulness, and knowing our ‘centre’.
We’re challenged everyday. Performances, role playing, and presentations. The idea is to give it a go and fail. None of us failed, it’s only the inner voice in your head that tells you you will fail. The most daunting experience was the individual performance, where we need to deliver a performance using the techniques we learnt, it could be a pitch to management, a difficult conversation you’re going to have with someone. No props, no powerpoint slides, no notes, no podium to hide behind, and you’re performance is recorded. We got feedback immediately and will redo part of our performance based on the feedback. It’s tough.
I learnt a lot! Can’t cover everything. A few key takeaways…..
The importance of breathing. Remember to breath when you’re anxious. When you hold your breath, you brain stops functioning rationally – fight or flight.
Adopting a Superman pose prior to giving a presentation is scientifically proven to boost your confidence! Do this for 2 mins in the bathroom before you deliver that epic presentation
Career planning It’s good to have a career plan, it’s ok if you don’t have a plan. You must set goals to stretch yourself, and make sure you’re growing, e.g. present at conference, write a journal article. Apply for the job that you think you don’t qualify for, you don’t make the decision, the panel makes the decision. Important to know what drives you, know your conviction.
When asked who feels like a fraud, almost everyone in the room put their hand up. Think about your achievements, write them down, add wins to the list regularly. You didn’t get to where you are because you’re lucky. You worked hard and you deserve it.
One of mentors mentioned this, but should we bring our whole selves to work? not the advice I usually get from others. I get things like "Fake it til you make it.”, "When you’re nervous don’t say you’re nervous.”, “Don’t bring your personal issues to work” etc because you don’t want to look weak. Bringing your whole self to work means you should show your talents, your skills, your fear, your weaknesses. It’s about being authentic, and be vulnerable. It takes courage. Depends on the situation or context, perhaps?
I found a TEDx talk about it, quite interesting https://youtu.be/bd2WKQWG_Dg
I thought I knew this, but Aurora gave me a different way to look at this question. A team is formed when we have an agreement on the question. Leaders must bring everyone on board by posing the question, but you must not answer the question yourself.
Pay attention to body language of the people you work with (and yourself too!)
Attend to the person who looks like this but agree with everything you say, that’s because they feel powerless. Don’t let anyone on your team feels powerless, because they bring no value to the team.
Advice for future attendees
Approach everything with an open mind, and it’ll be a very rewarding experience. Take the focus off yourself – “I don’t want to look stupid, I’ll play safe”, you don’t get as much out of it.
Be grateful - I feel fortunate to be there, I had to write an application to apply for a place, my manager also need to write a reference letter to support my application, and it’s an expensive program! This year the Institute was inundated with applications, people got turned down did a lot of work to prepare for the application too. Think about the investment by your Library and the people who didn’t get to come, prove that you deserve to be there.
Connect with others, speak to everyone. They’re there for the same reason, you have a lot in common but you’re very different. I learnt a lot from other participants, not just mentors and facilitators.
The only way to become good at something is practice
The end/the beginning
Aurora Institute for Emerging Leaders: My Journey
AURORA INSTITUTE FOR
Janice Chan 29 June 2015
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Bring your whole self to work
TEDx talk by Mike Robbins https://youtu.be/bd2WKQWG_Dg
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What’s a team?