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Saying YES to Leadership Opportunities

  • 1.  Saying YES to Leadership Opportunities

    Posted 06-10-2019 02:39 PM
    As I near the end of another academic year, I like to reflect on areas of growth and development where I was pushed out of my comfort zone and/or had opportunities to engage in unexpected events. For me, this May, through a series of unexpected circumstances, I attended the IPEC Conference in Washington, DC on behalf of my college. I found out a week and a half before the conference that a spot became available, but the timing was far from ideal with finals and end-of-the-semester activities. However, I was able to move a few things around on my calendar and attend this wonderful conference! There, I listened to and talked with many IPE leaders (including Dr. A. Lynn Williams, ASHA's newly elected president-elect-CONGRATS!), and it lead to an excellent leadership opportunity to help build a sustainable model of IPE in my college. With this, my questions to the group are: (1) What unexpected opportunities or circumstances have helped you develop your leadership skills?, and (2) What questions do you ask yourself (or others) before saying "yes" so that you aren't bombarded with requests?

    Christina Yeager Pelatti, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
    Towson University
    Towson, MD

  • 2.  RE: Saying YES to Leadership Opportunities

    Posted 06-11-2019 09:27 PM
    Thank you for sharing your experience, Christina, and inviting others to contribute about unexpected opportunities and circumstances that have helped develop our leadership skills.
    I don't know if my experiences directly pertain to your invitation or are necessarily demonstrations of leaderships skills, but I have definitely been pushed out of my comfort zone and been forced to grow. I am thankful to have chosen a profession that allows for such growth!
    The bulk of my experience has been in child language (and I have been an SLP for a long time). After practicing clinically, I obtained my doctoral degree and moved into teaching but still with an emphasis on child language. I spent over 10 years teaching in higher education but just recently had to return to school-based practice. That transition refreshed my appreciation for the challenging work of school-based practice and how much knowledge, dedication, time, energy, and flexibility it requires. So, that was growth experience number one.

    Last week, I started supervising in the area of adult language-growth opportunity number 2. I went into this experience reminding myself that good supervisory skills cross all populations and disorder areas and there are many similarities across therapy techniques. And, I have a new-found excitement for working with adults.

    Finally, I am preparing to teach in a new content area this fall and enjoying the opportunity to learn.
    All this is a bit tangential to your prompt, but it helped me recognize how much I have grown in a short time and reminded me how lucky I am to have chosen a profession that allows me to grow if I want to. 

    Perhaps the next challenge is seeking leadership opportunities more in line with what you have described.

    SallyAnn Giess, PhD, CCC-SLP