How the LeadershipPlus module surpassed my expectations

26 January 2023

Full-time MBA participant, Shambhavi Shriya, shares her experience on the LeadershipPlus module. 

LeadershipPlus was one of the key reasons for me to join the Full-time MBA at Warwick Business School. It would be an understatement to say that the LeadershipPlus module just surpassed my expectations. I was not expecting the module to be challenging but rather to be a break from all the other academic modules. In fact, it has become one of the most important modules for the entire cohort. From insights discovery, which pushed me to introspect and reflect more upon my behaviour, to group work with teams of varying sizes, which made me better at working with diverse people, LeadershipPlus helped enhance my interpersonal skills.

 Understanding the need for empathetic communication

As someone who has always found it difficult to verbalise feelings, this module gave me a chance to step outside my comfort zone and become more expressive. I understood the importance of empathetic communication and acknowledging others by listening intently and asking questions, all of which are essential to become a successful leader. As a team of six, we collectively worked on our mistakes by reviewing our performance after each task and in the end, could transform into a high-performing team. Dissecting each of our ‘chimp’ behaviours, we worked on controlling those consequent actions by being conscious of our triggers.

 Handling difficult conversations

My personal favourite LeadershipPlus session was on handling difficult conversations. Although seemingly overwhelming, it was the most effective and transformative experience. Professional actors were hired to make the situations realistic and impulsive. The session taught me how being mindful of what we say and respecting silence between arguments can ease the conversation and make it impactful.

 The importance of strategising your actions

Building a model airplane from scratch, flying it, and competing against other teams made me realise how important strategising your actions is. Prioritising and managing time well, are a few of the other important qualities that the module encouraged me to absorb. A facilitator, who was there to guide us in every task and facilitate our team discussions, managed each of the teams. Having a person monitoring the team’s growth throughout helped us realise how drastically the team had evolved.

Getting a team with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures made the task completion a bit challenging initially. We had a problem with getting stuck in a loop and losing time to complete the task. With no clear leadership defined, our team lacked direction. Learning from our shortcomings, taking advantage of each team member’s strengths, and understanding each other personally helped our team to become more productive.

I thoroughly enjoyed the sessions with Graham. His fun style of teaching made everyone else in the class incredibly involved and active. Working on some creative intro videos for the team got the team closer than before. Term 1 LeadershipPlus classes taught me how writing things down helps you realise the obvious. I can already feel the difference in my personality from before the module. Focusing on not only sustainability, but also ethics while heading any organisation, the LeadershipPlus module achieved its target of instilling social, economic and environmental values in the students.

I look forward to utilising the acquired learning from the module in my future tasks, assignments, and work life. With Term 2 commencing, I am thrilled to learn more from the rest of the LeadershipPlus workshop, my new cohort, and syndicate.

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