Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice

My leadership journey

Gaining confidence and assertiveness are some of the benefits of the new Inspiring Leadership programme, explains Liz Smith, practice development facilitator at The Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice.


Over the past year I have been fortunate to be part of the first cohort of the Inspiring Leadership programme for band six nurses.

Initially when I was approached to consider being part of this programme I was unsure whether it would be of benefit to me as I had previously completed a leadership course six years ago, but I decided to go along to the information workshop to find out more.

At this workshop the outline of the course was explained and the potential benefits of taking part were discussed and I felt that for me it would be a great opportunity to further develop the leadership skills I had previously gained and also learn new ones.

On the first day of the course 10 participants met together with the programme facilitators with some trepidation but very quickly the group gelled together, getting to know each other throughout the morning and design a poster reflecting different aspects of our personal and professional lives.

In addition to the introductory and celebratory event we attended a further five master classes throughout the year with each day looking at different aspects of leadership and in particular gaining a better understanding of ourselves through different exercises such as Myers Briggs and 360-degree feedback.

We were also able to be part of action learning sets, which provided a platform for discussion around aspects of our work which we were finding challenging. It was so beneficial being able to share with the group and work through the best way to move forward.

We also had the fantastic opportunity to hear from a variety of established leaders within palliative care and learn from them and their personal leadership experience.

For me one of the highlights of the programme was the relationships that developed with the other participants and the level of trust and sharing that we established over the year.

The other highlight was to see a definite change in my confidence which was a development need that I had recognised at the start of the programme and others identified through my 360-degree feedback.

At the celebration event we were all asked to present on the impact that the programme has had on our individual experience and I concluded with this quote:

“Being part of this programme has definitely had a positive impact on my self-awareness and personal effectiveness. I am much more confident and assertive in my work and now take the lead whereas before the course I would have been more the person to take a back seat, letting others take the lead.”

From a personal and professional level this programme has the potential to hugely benefit any palliative care band six nurse working across any care setting.