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It was another informative and entertaining session from Cambridge AWISE in April, when management trainer Kate Atkin joined us for a session on ‘Moving into management’.
From her attention-grabbing opening story about her first management role, the only woman manager in a well-known bank, to the team activity where she had most of us tangled up in string, Kate kept her audience engaged – and there was always a learning point to be grasped.
Several of us in the room had asked her to share her guidance on meetings, and particularly how to present a case effectively. Stepping back to ancient Greece, Kate called in Aristotle to aid us. Making a case, she argued, whether in an ancient Athenian law court or a modern boardroom, is a matter of three steps: ethos, pathos, and logos. ‘Ethos’, in these terms, is your own credibility. Are you a well known expert in the field? Have you held the job for a number of years? Have you carried out a relevant study? ‘Pathos’ is your ability to shape the audience’s emotions. As Kate pointed out, she’d used this very tactic at the start of the workshop: her story of life in the bank rapidly got her audience onside. And finally, ‘logos’, the logical argument. Put all three together – your own expertise, the rational argument, and an appeal to the audience’s emotions – and you’re primed for a successful meeting.
Other topics we covered included successful delegation, giving meaningful feedback, and turning difficult situations around through constructive conversations.
The biggest take away of the night, and one that those of us who never figured out the ‘string trick’ will find particularly memorable – if someone asks you to do a task, never shy away from asking them all the questions you need to do it!
Kate’s book, The Confident Manager, is available from her website, http://www.kateatkin.com.
Around 150 schoolgirls and their parents braved a stormy night to attend our STEM careers event at Netherhall School, Cambridge on the evening of November 9th. Their reward was to hear eight inspirational young women, working or studying in the sciences, IT and engineering, talk about their career paths to date. There were also information points around the room for each major discipline, where the girls and their parents could chat informally with the speakers and other volunteers after the talks were finished.
These were our speakers:
- Anna Davanzo, Design Engineer, Marshall Aerospace
- Felicity Dear, recent graduate in Materials Science
- Kathy Hadfield, ARM
- Aurelia Hibbert, engineering undergraduate and Programme Director of Cambridge University Eco Racing
- Fiona Nielsen, CEO at Repositive
- Katie Sarll, Horticultural Facility Assistant, Cambridge University Botanic Garden
- Cara Walters, Scientific Officer, Cancer Research UK
- Kirstie Whitaker, post-doc at Cambridge University Department of Psychiatry
We found that many pupils were reassured by the fact that several speakers either hadn’t known quite what they wanted to do when they left school, or had changed direction at some point. Read more
Another successful season of CAMAWiSE events is complete. But we don’t look back for long, we’re well into planning our calendar of events for 2015-16. We do hope you can join us for one or more of them!
We have the final event in our workshop series on October 13th: Jane Goodall’s Communication Skills Masterclass. (Booking for this event is now full and has closed. If you would like to be added to a waiting/cancellation list for this event please email Gayle firstname.lastname@example.org)
Netherhall School, in Cambridge on the evening of 9th November, will be our venue once again for a STEM careers fair for girls aged 13-18. With speakers from different STEM backgrounds, this will be a great opportunity for girls to hear how fascinating and rewarding a career in science, technology, engineering or maths can be.
We have all, at some time, endured them, led them, organised them, maybe even enjoyed them! Everyone probably has their own idea of how they should be run and what they should be for. And at our recent event, I think we must have heard just about every possible point of view on bad practice in meetings and how to deal with it.
As an icebreaker, our ‘Meetings bingo’ worked well. We each had a list of meeting ‘roles’, such as ‘asked for a pay rise’, ‘interviewed someone’, ‘introduced a speaker’, and the challenge was to talk to different people and discover examples of what might have gone wrong for them in each of these situations. AWiSE members rarely need much excuse to get chatting but this exercise certainly helped!
As a group, we discussed some of the issues arising from these conversations. An amazing array of experiences was revealed, along with some equally interesting and creative suggestions for dealing with some of the awkward and difficult situations being described. Read more