Vital Skills in Management and Leadership for Befriending

“It’s like trying to change a tyre while speeding down the motorway at 100 miles an hour!”

—BNS member on challenges of management and leadership in befriending

Course Outline

This new course takes the form of four half-day modules over 2 days. Participants can sign up for the whole course or for individual modules.

Day 1: Management Skills for Befriending

People and relationships are at the heart of befriending organisations. A key part of an organisation's effectiveness is the management, support and motivation of staff and there are specific challenges inherent in the role of any staff involved in coordinating befriending services. As a manager it is up to you to provide the most effective support and guidance to enable your staff to meet these challenges. Come to this half-day course and explore the skills and strategies you need to be able to do this.

Module 1: Working with the staff team (4 hours, £60 members / £80 non-members)

By the end of this session, participants will have explored the following:

    the differences between management and leadership – and a consideration of these definitions in relation to their own workloads
  • their own roles and responsibilities towards their staff team
  • the skills and challenges in effective performance management – and will be familiar with the performance management cycle
  • the communication skills involved in effective support and supervision – and an opportunity to explore the particular challenges faced by befriending coordinators
  • establishing and maintaining boundaries with the team
  • setting objectives with staff
  • motivation and team building
  • challenging situations and strategies for dealing with them

Module 2: Working with stakeholders and the wider organisation (3 hours, £55 members / £75 non-members)

Managing a befriending organisation involves dealing with a lot of different stakeholders. Depending on the specifics of your role and the size of your organisation, these could range from government strategic managers and senior management within your own organisation, to actual service users and volunteers – and it's your job to do and say the right things to make sure everybody is satisfied with your service! Key to successfully managing this balancing act is finding your own style of dealing with these wide ranging responsibilities. Come to this half-day course and work with befriending colleagues to explore what works best for you.

By the end of this session, participants will have explored the following:

  • theories of management styles and a consideration of their own management style
  • their own roles and responsibilities in relation to stakeholders and the wider organisation
  • accountability: record keeping, reporting and evaluation – an opportunity to reflect on current practice and advice on how to maximise efficiency
  • challenging situations with stakeholders and the wider organisation and strategies for dealing with them

Day 2: Leadership Skills for Befriending

Module 3: Leadership Skills – Maximising present Opportunities (4 hours, £60 members / £80 non-members)

This half-day session is an introduction to the skills and strategies required to successfully promote and raise the profile of your befriending service in the current, challenging climate. Drawing on the skills and experiences of leaders within the befriending sector, we will explore some of the more recent requirements we need to fulfil to sustain our services and the implications of this for our own personal development and support needs. The session will conclude with a practical workshop in which each participant will create a plan for developing partnership working and ensuring that this is working for them!

By the end of this session, participants will have explored the following:

  • skills and strategies in promotion and profile raising for befriending
  • public speaking and presentation skills
  • the importance of personal development and effective support of the leader
  • strategies for optimising current partnership working

Module 4: Leadership Skills – Creating the Future (3 hours, £55 members / £75 non-members)

Not only do managers of befriending services have to ensure that everything is running smoothly in the present, they are also often responsible for safeguarding the future of the service too! Well, you can throw away the crystal ball, as this practical half-day session will demystify the process of predicting the future and will guide you towards taking control of what lies ahead.

By the end of this session, participants will have explored the following:

  • evidencing the need for change – basic elements of a feasibility study
  • reviewing the situation – SWOT vs PESTLE
  • creating a strategic plan
  • the leader's role in engaging with the research and policy context
  • forming new strategic partnerships
  • negotiation skills and techniques
  • prioritisation and the creation of a three-month personal work plan

10% member discount for booking all four modules: £25 (total cost for all four = £205)

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