Edinburgh: Leading from Behind
I am feeling very energised after hosting the ‘Leading from Behind’ event as part of the Edinburgh PEP programme and with Moody’s Analytics’ as Corporate hosts.
Following some enjoyable networking with canapes and refreshments, Catherine Arden, a Theatre Director and Trainer in addition to speaker, had all guests on their feet with some breathing techniques and exercises to help build confidence and encourage ownership of voice and energy. Physical activity then continued through walking around the round and imitating the three personality types; red – loud, proud and self-assured, blue – hunched, uncertain and potentially weak, ‘white’ – balanced and confident. We then paired up and practiced some mirroring before finishing up with a leadership and trust exercise where we would take turns to close our eyes and were led to a different part of the room.
We returned to our seats for the second half of the workshop where Catherine held an interactive session asking the room about their experiences of leading/being led by their partner in the above exercise which helped us identify important traits of leadership. Catherine then went on to talk about our perception of leadership and how this has evolved (potentially devolved) over the years. She went back to the origin of the word and what this should mean in society and various different cultures – simplifying our understanding of what a leader should actually do and say. Following this, we had another exercise in pairs where the aim was to persuade one another to lead an important initiative and were given some helpful questions and words to help with this task; through this we learned that leadership was easier by connecting with someone on a personal level and understanding their goals.
Catherine then talked about the impact that our words can have and demonstrated how powerful this can be as evidenced through various experiments where words have actually changed the molecule structure of water. Catherine gave us some more science around the strength of females and our value through talking about the difference in XX and XY chromosomes and ended our session by stating that “Female is the default pathway in evolution”.
A fantastic evening with Theory, Practice, Physical Activity and Science all in 90 minutes!
By Christine Craig