Springboard Personal Development: A participant perspective, from Cheryl – University of Portsmouth

We value the feedback from our participants and organisations we work with. This was no different when we caught up with Cheryl Buck, Principal Lecturer in Law and Associate Head Academic at the University of Portsmouth. Cheryl shares her insight after recently attending our Springboard Women’s Personal Development Programme,.

What was your expectation of the Springboard Women’s Personal Development Programme?

As I knew it was personal development for women, it was nice to know that I was going into this with like-minded people. I was aware that it was to build confidence and that it was going to be a reflective process of self-discovery. I was apprehensive at first. I wondered if I would like it, if I would fit in and if I would find it difficult to open up. I was nervous, but the first session was remote, and this allowed me to meet people and break the ice before meeting in person.

What did you want to get out of Springboard?

I wanted to develop and learn about myself as well as see how I was viewed by other people, so I went in with a blank canvas and wanted to see how people perceived me. I also wanted to gain confidence in myself and my approaches. I also wanted to self-reflect, see how I could develop myself, and allow myself to absorb other people’s reactions to what I was saying.

What were your key takeaways?

The positivity – it was nice to know that what I was doing was well received. I learned to challenge my own practices, for example, I used to apologise a lot, but now I say thank you instead. I’ve become a lot clearer in my communication and learned that I had my own ‘Cheryl issues’ that I needed to work on, so the personal development techniques I learned to use to deal with this have been a game changer! A big thing was for me to stop taking things personally and that people would be mad at the situation, not me, so I have learned to stop and reflect on this, which is liberating!

Everyone went in with a view of improving themselves and it really helped to change my mindset and having the group network made me feel supported and empowered. I came away learning things about myself that I wasn’t aware of before. It was good for many, many reasons!

What were your thoughts on the Springboard licensed trainer?

Chris was great! She challenged me in a way that wasn’t intrusive and got me to really look deep inside when I was reflecting on myself.

I benefitted from it being a woman’s only personal development programme. It was lovely to be able to be open and upfront and feel supported in it. I was open to being challenged but knowing that we all have the same understanding of life challenges and work-life balance was great because we could all relate to each other. It did make me aware of things that I’d never noticed before!

How has Springboard impacted your work?

This personal development programme has changed the way I perform in my role. I’m much more willing to take a breath, reflect, and think about how to deal with a situation and express my thoughts and ideas. My new mindset allows me to feel more in control, rather than feeling like I need validation from other people, and instead of saying sorry, I now say thank you.

It’s changed the way I communicate with people, I’m now concise and straight to the point, and these changes have meant a more fluid relationship with my colleagues and a better management of expectations. I’ve learned to be assertive in the right way because I realised that previously my approach was coming across as confrontational. Since I’ve changed this, I’ve noticed a difference in the responses that I get from colleagues, and that our working relationships have improved.

How useful did you find the workbook?

I loved it! The focus on conversation skills was brilliant! I’ve referred to it when having a crisis of confidence and looked at the hints and tips I’d left myself and can see how far I’ve come since then! I was more engaged with the chapters about what I’d identified I wanted to change about myself.

I refer to the workbook to see if there’s room for me to move forward. It was a godsend because it was so personal. I used it as a diary of what I was thinking at that time and it’s nice to go back to that.

Has the programme made a difference to your personal life?

It prompted conversations with my family that gave us the ability to understand each other in different ways and from these, I’ve learned that I have little quirks. I’ve become aware that I have certain ways of dealing with things, and conversations at home have allowed me to see different perspectives, as well as prompted me to become more aware of myself. For example, how I deal with change – I thought I dealt with it well but my partner pointed out to me that there is a process that I go through before I can move forward with it that I wasn’t aware of.

It has begun conversations that allow us to reflect on each other, which is something that we wouldn’t normally do.

How do you feel about the University investing in you to develop?

Having time at work for my personal development to self-reflect and grow made my Springboard journey of self-therapy even more special! Giving me this time for myself makes me want to do the best I can in return for their investment in me. It makes me feel valued by them.

I think it’s amazing that the University of Portsmouth have invested in us! I am always open to adapt, grow and develop, but to have that support from the people who benefit from my growth is brilliant. It’s a win-win! I’m becoming a better employee, for myself, but they are seeing the benefits of my development within work.

All of us at Springboard Consultancy are pleased to see the brilliant outcomes and insight from Cheryl and yet another very successful programme at the University of Portsmouth.


If you’d like to find out more about the Springboard Women’s Personal Development Programme please click the button below or contact us.

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