Together: Identifying and Articulating Professional Skills

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If professional organisations, such as universities, are to be flexible and to respond effectively in the current context of change, they need to identify, work with and develop the skills of their employees. The professionals themselves need to be able to articulate what they do beyond a job title. They need to be able to identify and articulate their strengths and to use these to connect with others and develop creative and effective ways of working. In July 2008 the School of Education in the University of Hertfordshire, UK was named the internal ‘strategic business unit of the year’. This was due to its development of new local, national and international courses in professional areas beyond its usual focus on teacher education. In August it was decided to identify the strengths of all the individuals and how they had been used to achieve the significant outcomes leading to the collective award.

In this workshop we will firstly show the documented process, using film and text, by which each member of staff was coached to identify and articulate his or her strengths. We will then ask participants to work in groups to experience this approach in a shortened form. Each person should achieve a ‘talking business card’ – the ability to articulate his or her skills succinctly. If number of participants and technology allow this could take the form of a podcast.

In the final part of the workshop the approach taken to identify synergies and connections between individuals and to document and share the outcomes with other Schools in order to support effective ways of working will be explained, with opportunities for dialogue.


Keywords: Professional Learning and Skills, Identification and Articulation of Strengths, Collaborative Writing, Coaching Documented by Video and Text, Individual and Collective
Stream: Organisational Learning, Organisational Change
Presentation Type: 60 minute Workshop Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Dr Kit Thomas

Associate Head of School of Education, School of Education, University of Hertfordshire
Hatfield, Hertfordshire, UK


Dr. Joy Jarvis

Teaching and Learning Narrator, School of Education, University of Hertfordshire
Hatfield, Hertfordshire, UK


Sally Graham

Programme Director CPD and Professional Lead Creativity, School of Education, University of Hertfordshire
Hatfield, Hertfordshire, UK


Ref: L09P0331