"What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us. And when we bring what is within us out into the world, miracles happen."

Henry Stanley Haskins

The Language of Leadership: Finding your own Voice

‘The Language of Leadership: Finding your Own Voice’ is a highly interactive personal and professional development programme designed to help you develop your leadership skills and take full ownership of your leadership role.

Built on a coaching approach, each Module offers you time and space to think within a collaborative learning community in which different ideas, perspectives and experiences can be shared.

You will have opportunities to

  • Think about personal as well as professional life goals and connect with what really matters to you
  • Learn more about yourself and gain insights into your relationships with others
  • Develop your own personal and authentic leadership style
  • Enhance your interpersonal skills for leadership and management
  • Network with colleagues from other specialities – for mutual support now, and going forward, as future leaders in the NHS

A Personalised Leadership Programme

Leadership cannot be downloaded. Learning about leadership and the many aspects of your leadership role is of course important, but leadership cannot be summarised in a checklist.

Being a leader – at work, and in your own life – is a personal development journey: leadership is about who you are as much as what to do. 

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This programme is your invitation to embark on that personal journey of discovery. You’ll have time and space to think, to observe yourself and the impact you have on others, and you’ll gain useful insights into your relationships. Reflective practice requires dedicated time and flexibility. The Language of Leadership programme allows you to balance the demands of clinical training with a commitment to your leadership development. You’ll be given opportunities to reflect on what really matters to you, you’ll gain clarity about what you want your own life purpose to be, identify your most cherished values – and reflect on how they align with your personal and professional life – so that you can be the doctor you want to be and the person you choose to be. As we work together you will also add to your interpersonal skills toolkit – and learn to integrate these skills into your work and personal life, embedding them by making your communication congruent with the person you are and who you choose to be. You’ll notice what that congruence looks like, sounds like, and feels like for you – and as a leader, you’ll be able to encourage others to do the same. You’ll be thinking about how to engage positively with change and uncertainty and how to stretch beyond your comfort zone while maintaining sustainable practice. You’ll be learning how you can motivate and inspire others, so that you and your team can solve problems and meet challenges to provide the best quality care to your patients. Throughout the programme, you’ll be reflecting on and developing your own individual and authentic leadership style; you’ll be taking full ownership of your leadership role; you’ll be finding your own voice.


Programme Structure

A flexible personal and professional development programme designed for you and by you
For doctors in training from ST1 and new leaders up to CT+2
Create your own professional identity as a leader and communicate with authenticity and impact

Introductory Module: Leadership Essentials

This foundation Module introduces you to the key themes which underpin the whole programme: interpersonal communication skills, building and maintaining trust, aligning values and purpose. We will be looking at the changing face of leadership in the 21st century with the focus on leadership and management in the NHS. We’ll be reflecting on the role of the leader as expert communicator, thinking about how communication shapes team culture and the impact of the leader’s language and communication style on team performance. At this, the start of your personal and professional development journey, you’ll be invited to reflect on how you would like to establish your professional identity as a leader speaking with your own voice, so that you can communicate effectively with personal authority, authenticity, and impact.

‘Engaging and interactive – it’s not often that a course on leadership manages to be fun, interesting and profound all at once!’

 ‘Relaxed, open forum with knowledgeable, non-judgemental facilitator.’

 ‘Really excellent – useful and relevant to day to day practice (work and life!).’

 ‘Excellent interactive and enthusiastic speaker. Well-led, open and friendly atmosphere. ‘

 ‘Really enjoyed the time to ask questions related to our specific working environments.’


Module 1: The Leader and the Team: Working with Different Personality Types

Knowing about different personality types and preferences can enhance work relationships, reduce conflict, build resilience and support better team-working. In this session you will be introduced to examples of different approaches available, focussing on one of the most-commonly used and globally recognised personality profiling tools, the MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Inventory). You’ll have the opportunity to find out more about yourself and others. We will look at how acknowledging personality preferences provides a framework and a language for describing differences in a positive and non-judgmental way, enhances understanding of important differences between people, and enables different personalities to work well together.

The programme includes:

  • Identifying personality preferences
  • Observing personality preferences in interpersonal relationships in teams
  • Interpersonal skills and relationship-building with different personality types
  • Using type preferences for problem-solving and resolving conflict
  • Understanding and managing stress reactions – in oneself and others
  • Team cultures and preferences
  • ‘Type’ and leadership – qualities and potential blind-spots
  • Personality preference and culture – supporting diversity, promoting inclusion

Delegates also receive a Resource Handbook

 “A very thought-provoking session with ideas about how to improve ways of working with different personality types – and heightened awareness of my own preferences.”

 “Very, very helpful. Not only has it helped me to understand others’ processes but mine too on a personal level.”

Module 2: Strengths-based Leadership

You probably have a fairly good idea of some of your key talents, qualities and skills from praise and appreciation you’ve received in the past. This interactive programme will demonstrate that being good at something is only half the strengths picture. We’ll be looking at strengths from different perspectives, distinguishing between strengths and skills, suggesting ways in which you can boost your strengths and enhance under-used strengths if they pose a performance risk.  We’ll also be thinking about how to manage your strengths when they become a nuisance! Understanding more about the strengths of others, and how they show up in relationships at work, can also enhance your interpersonal skills, build your resilience and bring you more personal and professional fulfilment.

The programme includes:

  • Identifying your strengths
  • Creating productive habits
  • Addressing ‘weaknesses’
  • Regulating strengths in overdrive and building resilience
  • Stretching strengths
  • Strengths-based feedback conversations
  • Your leadership strengths

Delegates also receive a Resource Handbook

 “I found today truly inspiring and very revealing. Really useful focus on solutions and how we can take this learning forward.”

Really useful as always. I always leave these sessions full of optimism and energy.”

“Interactive and thought-provoking.”

Module 3: Leading in Adversity: Difficult Conversations and Challenging Situations

Engaging colleagues in difficult conversations can trigger emotions ranging from embarrassment, irritation and resentment to anxiety, fear and even anger. Whether tackling poor performance, investigating or responding to complaints, supporting colleagues with personal problems or tackling personality clashes, there can be a temptation to want to avoid these conversations altogether. This interactive programme provides a model framework for structuring the conversation and focuses on careful preparation and early intervention as an efficient – and ultimately time-saving – way of diffusing tension, creating mutual understanding, enhancing individual performance and promoting good teamwork.

(Please note, this programme is intended to complement the workshop ‘Giving and Receiving Feedback: creating a no-blame culture’ but is also a ‘stand-alone programme)

The programme includes:

  • Acknowledging and managing emotions
  • Tackling unconscious bias
  • Preparing for the conversation
  • Getting the language right – listening as well as talking
  • Your leadership – aligning purpose and values
  • Managing the follow-up

 Delegates also receive a Resource Handbook

“I enjoyed the pace of the content and relevance of the session.”

“Very useful – I feel more able, and prepared, for difficult conversations without getting emotional.”

“Really enjoyed this programme. Extremely helpful and relevant to clinical life.”

Module 4: Resilient Leadership: Developing Personal and Team Resilience

In this interactive programme we’ll be looking at how you can build the kind of resilience that enables you and your team to adapt and thrive. We’ll be taking a closer look at the components of resilience, and ways of tapping into your EQ so that you change perspective and pace, refresh your energy, and feel more confident. Rather than simply ‘toughing it out’ or being triggered into knee jerk reactions, you’ll learn practical exercises to help build awareness so that support yourself and others in sustainable practice.

The programme includes:

  • Identifying sources of stress – monitoring your energy levels
  • Developing resilience as a habit
  • Thoughts and emotions that undermine resilience
  • Creating your own micro-environment for resilience
  • Time management as energy management
  • Fatigue, stress and burnout
  • Exploiting the full potential of resilience

Delegates also receive a Resource Handbook

 “Thoroughly enjoyed coming to this session today. Interesting, insightful., informative, interactive.”

 “Great – very helpful and thought-provoking day. Always love it! Thank you.”

Module 5: Leading with Assertiveness, Compassion and Vulnerability

Being assertive is an important aspect of the leader’s communication. You need to be clear and sound confident – but don’t want to come across as tough, aggressive, or unfeeling. This interactive workshop takes examples from a range of situations which can be challenging and offers skills for clear and compassionate communication. We will explore some of the myths about assertiveness and think about how you can change your thinking and behaviour so that you can manage difficult situations more confidently, communicate in an open and honest way, encourage positive engagement and build good relationships at work. 

The programme includes:

  • Understanding the principles of assertive communication
  • Dealing with emotions – enhancing your EQ
  • 6 practical strategies for assertive communication
  • Using non-verbal communication
  • Remaining authentic – your assertive self as leader

Delegates also receive a Resource Handbook

“Thank you so much for another really inspiring day! Lots of lessons to take home!”

 “Another really great day. Good balance of information and practical sessions.”


“Open and honest conversations about the role of assertiveness in all aspects of life. Enjoyable, engaging, and stimulating.”

Module 6: Feedback: Leadership for a Learning, No-Blame Culture

In this companion workshop* we look at the role of the whole feedback process. Regular, good quality feedback is one of the most important ingredients in building constructive relationships, achieving team objectives and supporting continuous development.

This interactive programme demonstrates how requesting, giving and receiving feedback, when fully integrated into the life of the team, creates an open culture of learning – rather than a culture of judgement and blame.

(* this workshop is intended to complement the workshop ‘Difficult Conversations and Challenging Situations’ but is also a ‘stand-alone programme)

The workshop programme content includes:

  • Communicating the purpose of feedback within the team
  • Giving feedback vs ‘criticism’
  • Asking for and receiving feedback – getting the most out of the conversation
  • Introducing ‘feed-forward’
  • Following up – becoming an ‘accountability partner’
  • Making feedback part of the life of the team

 Delegates also receive a Resource Handbook

“Practical applications to healthcare and the feedforward exercises were interesting and helpful. Looking forward to the other Modules.”

“I found the structured approach to giving feedback and thinking about ‘fixed mindset’ vs ‘growth mindset’ very useful. Thank you!”

Module 7: Leading Responsibly: Delegating without Abdicating

As team working becomes more complex, all team members need to be more adaptable and increasingly multi-skilled. The smooth-running of the team requires that you know about the skills colleagues have to offer, and when and how to pull on these qualities and competencies. As delegator you also need to be clear about your own particular responsibilities, and your own personal effectiveness. In this interactive Masterclass you will learn about how to delegate effectively – and how to avoid some delegation pitfalls.

The programme includes:-

  • Planning and preparation – the delegation process
  • Managing learning opportunities with team effectiveness
  • Getting buy-in from colleagues
  • When not to delegate

 Delegates also receive a Resource Handbook

“Improve in appropriate delegation. Follow more with ‘only do what only you can do. Really like the list of reasons we avoid delegating – resonated with me!”


“Really enjoyed it, once again! Totally worth coming post night shift – thank you!”


Module 8: Leading Change in an Uncertain World

Change is not a one-time event, but rather a process of learning and adapting that needs to be meticulously managed. In this interactive programme we’ll be looking at your role as a change agent, taking the strategic overview, articulating the vision, and creating a momentum for change. At the same time you need to provide a focus for stability, so as always we’ll be thinking about your communication as a leader, liaising with stakeholders outside your department and keeping the communication channels open with your team. Change can sometimes create feelings of anxiety and helplessness – we’ll be looking at how you can provide support for the team, and how they can support you, so that together you develop a long-term ability to be proactive in the change process, able to evolve and engage with continuous learning and improvement.

The programme includes:-

  • Creating a culture for change
  • Communicating the vision- clarifying goals, measuring success 
  • Why change initiatives fail
  • Weathering the storm, supporting the team
  • Influencing and persuading
  • Celebrating marginal gains
  • 10 Steps for leading sustainable change 

 Delegates also receive a Resource Handbook

 “A great day! So much to think about and take forward and hopeful for the future.”

  “This programme has given me new ideas about how to move change forward.”