Notes from “Unleashing your true potential, Self-reflection & growth” @Uni of Bath workshop Led by Dr Teeroumanee Nadan

by Dr Teeroumanee Nadan, ARLT SIG

This blog was originally posted on 10th June 2024 on Dr Teeroumanee Nadan’s blog

7th June 2024 marked the second face-to-face workshop organised as part of the “Strategic Change” 2023-2024 ARLT SIG series of events. A similar workshop was delivered at LJMU earlier this yearsmall group discussions on strategies for change, panel conversations (Researching on antiracism – the people and the purpose) and external engagement with LTHEchat (LTHEchat post event notes on the antiracism agenda in HE) have also taken place to drive forward change in mindset.

The workshop at the University of Bath has been several months of conversations with the EDI coordinator and HR targetted at members of the MOSAIC network.

Amin Neghavati, ARLT SIG External Engagement officer, was keen to kick-start the conversation at Bath, and despite leaving the institution in early 2024, he still supported with the logistics of the event.

About the workshop

It was a completely free workshop, and the University of Bath provided for the venue and associated expenses. The aim of the workshop was to empower junior and mid-level POC staff and I ran exactly the same format as before, that is, pre-event activity involving reflection and self-discovery, and during the workshop I unpacked the issues the staff had been dealing with. I provided details of the workshop in a previous blog. Of course, there will be a post-event follow-up, and this is scheduled for 11th July 10-12.

There is also the 3-month and 6-month follow-up that participants have signed up for. As a facilitator, I can’t wait to see the growth in staff. I appreciate the participants who showed up on the day for engaging in the pre-event and post-event online activities, they are truly dedicated to their growth.

My personal thoughts: As usual, reflection is the hardest part of the workshop as most people rarely have allocated time for reflection in their personal life or as part of their work.

Another activity that is equally difficult for participants speaking of trauma, victimhood and overcoming barriers. This is usually the part of the workshop where some participants may get defensive or start to compare themselves with other people without knowing much about the challenges that these other people face too.

A solution I often propose is to broaden their knowledge, read, watch documentaries, whatever is necessary to know about the pros and cons and all the sides and perspectives of things, in order to avoid biases.

Participants were busy taking notes, they had quite a few pages written down and as a facilitator it is really rewarding to see tangible actions coming out of the activities and to witness breakthroughs – you know the kind of “Oh, I had never thought of that”. Sometimes simple solutions are the best and remember that you cannot get something without asking for it.

Picture with participants at the University of Bath

Moving forward

I have been approached to have similar workshops at other universities. Unfortunately, this is my last event under ARLT SIG. I decided to step down as ARLT SIG Chair earlier this year, so I will not be delivering any more free workshops for universities or ARLT SIG.

I am a doer and I enjoy the action more, there is really less competition on that front. I cannot wait to continue to do what I am great at – helping students and staff grow and making the Higher Education environment a thriving space where learning and teaching are done as they should be done!

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