Federica Bambagioni (FB): In my day-to-day work at ThoughtSpark I’m responsible for managing and supporting our junior team members all over the world, so I was very keen to do some CPD (continuing professional development) in that area, and the program I’m on currently will leave me with a recognised Leadership and Management diploma at the end.
Sarah Nurgat (SN): That’s fantastic. So what can you tell us about your experience so far? You’ve thus far completed the core program module on leadership skills development. What was your biggest takeaway for the day?
FB: What really impacted me most was the idea that you can really make a difference – even in terms of smaller tasks or giving a briefing – depending on the management style you choose to deploy in a given situation. It sounds obvious but everything depends on it. How you’re doing something is just as important as what you’re doing to create a positive outcome. You have a lot of power over inspiring and motivating team members so being clued into the approaches and thinking processes behind this is meaningful.
SN: That definitely rings true to my own experience and I think constantly reflecting on our behaviours and approaches can have excellent knock-on effects for working relationships and the successful completion of tasks/projects. How did you troubleshoot this in class?
FB: We ran through a few roleplay scenarios to get an idea of how each of us might tackle the same issue. It was helpful for me to see how managers from different sectors and backgrounds would deal with a specific situation. Like many others I landed in the directing and mentoring fields but perhaps could have tried to empower and motivate more. There was a lot happening in the details and that’s something that we see reflected in our writing work all the time, that language and tone are highly significant.
SN: And even more so when trying to translate that to a different language and/or culture. These subtleties play a big role in how we navigate communicating messages to diverse audiences. Was it useful to train alongside people from other backgrounds?
FB: Absolutely. There were people with decades of experience alongside more junior people all from a range of fields like recruiting, finance, Food & Beverage, etc. Our discussions let us focus on one resounding point though. There’s no one size fits all style to management but if you build your approach around being genuine and authentic, you can always get the work done in the best way possible and remain true to yourself.
SN: I like that! So is there anything you’re going to action right away?
FB: My main focus now is to bring the bigger picture into focus for whomever I’m briefing on a task. I don’t just want to allocate and move on, I want to focus on explaining why a job is important and how their contribution in its completion will have a wider impact on a campaign or the business. I want to show people that they’re trusted and a meaningful part of something important.