South East Weekend School Newsletter

A delegate’s perspective: How I felt about the event, what I enjoyed and what I took away.
Ivan Rozmetanyuk, Anglian Water

I believe that the South-East Area Weekend School was the single most important and valuable event that I have attended in my professional career, thus far.

The event was centred on ‘confident communication’ and was incredibly well structured with three full days of coaching, activities, exercises and presentations to really bring home the message of communicating confidently.

The event was kick-started by the Keynote speaker and deputy headmaster, Simon Bennett from Bristol Water. Simon’s words were not only inspirational and genuinely interesting but really resonated with me personally. He told us not to rush. I found this really simple yet very poignant as being at an early stage of my professional career, it can at times seem as though there is pressure to progress or succeed very quickly. Simon’s message coupled with its’ powerful delivery made us all consider what our priorities were and how we could grow our own confidence in our own time.

We attended a great session delivered by Paul Rhodes on Insights Discovery and learnt about what our personality preferences were in terms of red, blue, yellow or green and how they interact. Whichever preferences you have, it’s more important to know how and when to draw on all of these energies to enable effective and confident communication whilst creating genuine connections. I believe that each delegate learnt something about themselves during this session and will go on to implement the techniques in the workplace.

‘Tea with a slice of wisdom’ provided a rare and valued opportunity to sit with industry leaders and have a genuine discussion over a few cakes in a speed dating format. A lot of cake was consumed as was a lot of advice, motivation and inspiration. One of the key themes that I took away was to ‘fake it till you make it’, not by falsifying your CV but by having the will power to develop your own self-confidence to a level by which you are genuinely comfortable in your own skin and abilities. This will manifest itself during those terrifying presentations, difficult conversations and within your career in general!

Debate Mate taught us about the intricacies of debating and getting your point across effectively, which is a crucial skill that is particularly useful when talking persuasively or presenting confidently. In a grand finale to close the Weekend School, we employed all our learning from the three days and held debate competitions in front of the Dragons (Martin Baggs, Anna Boyles and Simon Earl). This was an opportunity to showcase what we had taken on board and demonstrate how we had developed. I think every delegate would agree that we surprised ourselves.

We all enjoyed the down time which was not only an opportunity to reflect on the day but to also develop our general knowledge in the hardest pub quiz known to man, solve a murder in an eccentric Halloween-themed murder mystery and of course, explore the well stocked bar of the fabulous venue.

I am confident that all the delegates took very valuable points away from the event. Whether it was a better appreciation of different character types, a clearer picture of career goals or the ability to better structure a discussion – like most things, it is what you make of it.


Weekend School 2020

Thursday 8th – Saturday 10th October 2020
CIM Moor Hall, Cookham, Maidenhead, SL6 9QH

“Confident communication for future leaders”

The South-East Area invite you to attend our Weekend School 2020 to develop your communication skills and confidence in a 3-day intensive training course.

Like Ivan, you will have the opportunity to learn more about your personality preferences, the art of debating to get points across and feedback constructively, as well as spending valuable time with water sector leaders. There will also be time to relax and network with other delegates through the pub quiz and murder mystery evenings.

This event welcomes delegates of all abilities, backgrounds and job roles, as well as from all areas of the UK.

Sign up for this event will open once the final agenda has been confirmed so keep an eye out for the email notifications, on social media and on the website!

Best Wishes,
Institute of Water South East Area

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