Penelope Rance

My UX research & design ramblings

LTUX London - Journeys Into Leadership

This week I had the pleasure of hosting the LTUX London panel discussion titled Journeys Into Leadership.

This type of event has always been one of my favorites that LTUX run, so it was a privilege to be asked to host the panel, even if that did make it a little more nerve racking than some.

We had a panel of four ladies, Remya Ramesh, Benny Zuffolini, Steph Marques and Jess Richards who had such a range of experiences and were all really happy to share these experiences that actually my job was really easy.

Yes I’d sat down and written a list of questions before the event and I used them to make sure we kept on subject and covered everything we’d said we would, but I didn’t really need them.

The beauty of this event for me was it felt like a really good chat about something we were all interested in and the fact there was an audience was beside the point.

I received some really lovely feedback at the end, thanks to everyone who shared, it was so good to hear that so many people had gotten as much out of the evening as I had.

But what was also interesting was several people asked how I kept so calm up on stage.

This got me thinking.

I have stood up there and presented before and it was so scary, but this week I was totally in my element. All I had to do was ask good questions and it would look after itself. As I said to several people, this is what I do in my day job, plus I’m really nosy so love to ask people questions and get in-depth answers.

The answers that really stood out for me:

  • I need to work on my ‘social currency’ but that doesn’t need to be hard. Do good work, be helpful. Go a little above and beyond.
  • It’s ok to do less ‘doing’ as a manager. But be super careful not to micromanage your team - you need to give them the space to do the doing and you only need to step in to steer them if needed.
  • Don’t be too protective of your team, they need to learn how to deal with this stuff too.
  • Each member of your team is different, you need to work out what works for each of them.
  • And leading on from this, we just need to be more inclusive. It doesn’t matter who in your team needs help, female, male, non binary, while we might not have experienced the exact thing they are going through we can still do our best to support them.
  • You don’t need to be a manager to be a leader.
  • A coach might be a good idea, but finding one might be a bit harder.

This was a great event, even if I do say so myself! I learnt so much from our panel and it’s helped to clarify some questions in my head. I really hope our audience enjoyed it as much as I did.

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