Hone your leadership style at new Global Mobility Festival

The Festival of Global Mobility Thinking enabled delegates to explore different forms of leadership using stories and case studies.

Business people interacting
This article is taken from a series surrounding Relocate’s Festival of Global Mobility Thinking on 11 May 2018. The highly successful, interactive event included speakers such as Prof Dr Dimitry Kochenov, author of the Henley & Partners Quality of Nationality Index (QNI); and Dr Linda Holbeche, author of The Agile Organization. For more information and to find out how you can get involved in this unique event next year, contact: events@relocatemagazine.com 
Marianne Curphey spoke to Phyllida Hancock, a specialist in leadership coaching and an Associate with Olivier Mythodrama, about how she uses the arts to inform leadership styles. The qualities required to be an inspirational, effective and successful leader in the 21st century are many and varied. Leaders now face exceptional demands on their time and resources. They are required to deal with a huge range of tasks and situations, must deliver on time and to budget, and keep their staff motivated and enthusiastic.

An introduction to the Olivier Mythodrama

Never has leadership been more varied, or more challenging. How can managers and leaders adapt their behaviour to bring out the best in themselves, their staff, and their organisation?That is the question being explored by Olivier Mythodrama in a keynote speech and workshop session at the Festival of Global Mobility Thinking on May 11.“A lot of people go into leadership because they want to make the workplace better – but it is not an easy role,” says Phyllida Hancock, a specialist in leadership coaching and an Associate with Olivier Mythodrama.“When someone is in the thick of leadership and all the complexity that involves and all the competing demands on their attention, a range of different skills are needed.”In the Keynote speech she will look at how leaders can create a workplace that is both successful for the company, and also a place that people want to come and work.“We use stories as case studies to look at leadership in different ways. It works because everyone likes to be told a story, and when you are in the theatre, you are looking at more than one character on stage.“It is a way of looking at leadership differently and is a metaphor for the complexity of an organisation, and for an individual’s own approach to leadership.“For example, in a working day a leader might need to give information, speak about the future and enthuse staff with a vision, deal with an employee who is uncertain and unhappy in their job. All these require different skills and characters that are all part of your leadership story.”She likens the range of leadership skills to “lesser characters on the stage that don’t appear that often, but may be needed in certain leadership situations.”

Teaching through the arts

Phyllida Hancock worked as an actress and singer for 12 years, she now uses theatre and creative arts techniques, including forum theatre and music workshops, to develop personal leadership skills and to encourage innovation.The 21st century leader will need to be inspiring, transformational, influential, sustainable and courageous, she says, capable of playing different roles to meet different times, and managing increasingly complex situations with apparent ease.“Very few people are naturally gifted with this range of necessary talents but they can all be learned; with good will, appropriate care and exceptional leadership development delivery,” she says.
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The bespoke session designed for Relocate Global will invoke the valuable conversations that inspire new ways of working together and addressing ever changing challenges.“In the workshop session we will be able to give people an opportunity to have an experience of speaking or standing differently,” she explains. “It is not role play because you don’t have someone on the other side answering back, but you do get feedback – and a chance to experience behaving in a different way.“It is not about changing your personality. Instead, it is about finding aspects of leadership that you can use when the situation requires it. It is still authentic – we are tweaking, not changing behaviour.”Dramas like the Tempest present scenarios which can be analysed in the context of 21st century organisations and provide interesting parallels.“The stories we use are about people with power who are learning to use it, misuse it, or are craving it and not getting it,” she says.“The Tempest is a story about a very powerful magician who can shake the earth and create storms but who in the end has to give up his magic.“When we do work with senior people, the transition for them can be hard if they are moving from an operational role to a strategic role. They are giving up their magic. They can find it really difficult if it has been something that they are really good at and which they enjoyed.”

Examining leadership through interactive exercises

The Keynote speech will also look at the role of leaders within organisations and the workshop will follow this up by enabling delegates to challenge themselves with exercises around leadership skills.“We give people a chance to experience different ways of behaving – managing difficult behaviour in other people, having difficult conversations, or asking a member of staff to do something that they don’t want to do. It’s about flexing your muscles and trying out something new.“When we work with women, although it is a generalisation, we might in some circumstances suggest that they smiled less – to show they are discussing something important or that they need to be taken seriously.”The training also looks at different archetypes of behaviour which might be needed in different situations.“In a perfect world, we would have access to all these when needed but most people feel that some of these are a stretch for them. Our workshop is very active and asks the question: When I am in this place or this situation, what qualities do I need to handle the situation effectively?”For related news and features, visit our Leadership & Management section. Find out more about our upcoming Relocate AwardsRelocate’s new Global Mobility Toolkit provides free information, practical advice and support for HR, global mobility managers and global teams operating overseas.Access hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online DirectoryClick to get to the Relocate Global Online Directory 

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