Successful information exchange for self-development women

In exploring how the Spring Forward self-development programme can benefit women moving into or further up in management, we discovered how the programme is equally beneficial for self-employed and freelance women.

On Tuesday 13 July, a small group of women met at the coworking0711 offices in Stuttgart to learn more about the Spring Forward self-development programme from the UK. At the agreed time, we hooked up, via Skype, directly with Sue Hewitt in her office in Cumbria and the discussion began.

Sue briefly explained the set up of the programme: 2 workshops over 3 months. The first workshop of 2 days with the follow up workshop usually of 1 1/2 days. We asked what were some of the issues raised in previous programmes – Sue has held 12 over the last few years.

Significantly, individuals face barriers to their progression at work, such as:

• Difficulties with talking to the boss

• Being ignored in meetings

• Having one’s contributions overlooked

• Not getting recognition for positive or important things achieved at work

Sue also explained that Spring Forward can benefit you if you are self employed, a solo-preneur or running a small business. It allows you to spend some time focusing on what you want out of life, thinking about achieving a healthy life-work balance. You can also creatively imagine how your business or work may develop over time and work on developing the right personal brand for success.

The type of issues that self employed women bring the programme include:

• Being taken seriously by clients, banks, backers and the competition

• Lack of self belief and belief in their business goals

• Managing time effectively so that life is not all work

• A need to get help through coaching and mentoring

Sometimes, issues raised revolve around other questions, such as:

• Do I want to be a manager, leader or business owner?

• Where do I want to be in 5 years time?

• What other creative ways are there for me to further my self-development?

Sue explained how the programme works on a practical level. There is a lot of small group and / or pair work. Intense, active listening is applied, resulting in objective, constructive feedback. The advantage of having direct feedback from neutral, objective parties is that new ideas, perspectives and alternatives are offered. Also you are all on the programme journey together so it is easier to empathise with each others issues.

In summary, Spring Forward is ideal for women working in companies, working as freelancers, setting up and / or running their own business. Basically, anyone with the desire to develop themselves so as to maximise their own potential can sign up for the Spring Forward programme.