Leadership is more than the sum of the actions of people at the top of organizations. It is deliberate and demonstrated behavior in labs, classrooms, offices and meetings, as individuals model how to effectively communicate, teach and resolve conflicts—in short, to interact professionally and respectfully so that others follow your example.
In an initiative to cultivate leadership skills in faculty members and thus enhance their success, the Office of Faculty Affairs has developed an innovative speaker series with internationally known presenters, including members of the UMass Medical School faculty. What makes this series distinct is that it focuses on thoughtful leadership—a purposeful approach to leadership using specific evidence and practice-based competencies. A unique and diverse range of topics is covered, including interpersonal communication, emotional intelligence, mindfulness and transferability of skills.
The series is offered monthly over the course of the academic year and is structured to include both large group presentations and hands-on workshops. Some seminars are followed on the same day by a related workshop, as was the case in September, when R. Kevin Grigsby, DSW, AAMC’s senior director of organizational leadership development, presented the seminar “Integrity and Authenticity in Leadership,” followed by a workshop on “Effective Communication in the Professional Environment.”
Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs Luanne Thorndyke, MD, presented a workshop in October called “The Art and Style of Interpersonal Communication,” which proved to be so popular it will be offered again at a Women’s Faculty Committee meeting and also on the UMass Memorial Medical Center Memorial campus. “I’m pleased to be able to work with faculty to enhance communication skills in an area that many often feel uncomfortable discussing—the art and style of graceful self-promotion. This is really about advocating for yourself and your work in a manner that is strategic and diplomatic, without being boastful or unprofessional. It demonstrates one aspect of thoughtful leadership.”
The next session, on Monday, Nov. 22, at 2:30 p.m., includes a seminar on mindfulness in leadership followed by a related workshop presented by Saki Santorelli, EdD, executive director of the Mindfulness Institute at the UMMS Center for Mindfulness. Dr. Santorelli will present an overview of the Center’s Mindful Leadership initiative and describe ways that mindfulness practices have been effectively integrated into the lives of leaders at General Mills Inc. and other private, public and academic institutions.
For additional information, visit http://www.umassmed.edu/ofa/develop/leader.aspx. While the seminars are open to all members of the UMMS community, registration is required to attend the workshops. Videos of past seminars are available on the OFA Web site.