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Jeanette Williams talks about her journey on the Mary Seacole Programme

Mary Seacole Programme:
A Personal Journey
By Jeanette Williams
Staff Engagement & Wellbeing Programme Lead
East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust


What have been the benefits of completing this programme?

I have found the Mary Seacole programme beneficial as it allowed me to explore my own leadership styles and potential for future development. The materials were relevant to my current work which allowed me to test out various theories within the workplace. I am much more aware of leadership styles I can utilise and the impact of organisational climate and its effects on my own role. The networking opportunities were also invaluable and the Tutor group forum allowed me discuss relevant issues within the workplace as it related to specific units.

What have you learnt about yourself?

I have discovered that in adopting a more collaborative style, which ensured that staff were fully engaged in my improvement initiative, allowed for success. The use of a more directive approach applied at the start of the initiative did not allow for staff autonomy so I needed to be adaptable to change. I have also learned a lot about the importance of stakeholders especially when embarking on organisational change. Coaching and mentoring skills  was another area which was relatively successful with  individuals and teams, as it involves taking an active interest in the development needs of others and bolstering their abilities to make improvement, which impacts on patient care. I can now do this more effectively.

How has this affected your leadership?

I have developed insights through my influencing strategies exercise and other Leadership  style assessments carried out during the programme by the Hay group. The feedback, including my HLM 360 Feedback, has helped me to  work with others more effectively and with their different view points and emotions in complex situations. I can now recognise and work with ethical issues and dilemmas involved in service improvement.

Would you recommend this programme to others?

I would definitely recommend the Mary Seacole programme as it provides you with the relevant theoretical and practical experience necessary which you can test out in the workplace. The Leadership workshops with the Hay group allowed for networking and exploring different perspectives with colleagues from across a wide range of backgrounds. The depth of the resources provided online was helpful, relevant and current which allowed me to have discussion both in my tutor group and in my work place. The support from my tutor was also very useful and helped me to complete the programme in a timely manner. Although there were challenges throughout, I have enjoyed the learning experience and feel like I have definitely developed as an individual and emerging leader who is more confident and eager to continue to develop initiates which will improve patient experience and the quality of the service we deliver in my organisation.