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Leadership and influence (Chevening award) - disability equality promoter


Susan_jscl 1 / 2  
Oct 19, 2019   #1
Hi! This is my essay for the application of Chevening. Your reading, modification and advice will be highly appreciated.

Leadership and influence


Chevening is looking for individuals who will be future leaders or influencers in their home countries. Explain how you meet this requirement, using clear examples of your own leadership and influencing skills to support your answer. (minimum word count: 100 words, maximum word count: 500 words)

After participating in the TOF-DET(Training of Facilitators of Disability Equality Training) in 2014, the mission of my future career hit me, that is to raise the awareness of disability of disability, and to promote the society to be more friendly, inclusive and fair for everyone including the PWDs(Persons with disability). I know exactly I can't change the society, not even a person, but I can influence and enlighten persons and unite them to change the society together. I then began to do it with the powerful tool DET, as well as my respect, encouragement, cooperation, and unconditional positive regard.

A motivated and united group is always stronger than any powerful and intelligent individual. This awareness came to me when I headed and coached the departmental volleyball team in Guizhou University, and led the team to the champion position with hard struggle. To maximize the influence of DET in China, I, along with other two facilitators set up a community of practice (COP). I drafted its regulation, design the DET quality control scheme, collect participants data and feedback, prompt discussions about facilitation skills, etc. to promote the professional growth of all DET facilitators and the influence of DET. I delivered more than 40 DETs nationwide, together with other facilitators, we have done 150+ DET in China with more than 3,000 participants from UN agencies, government agencies, Disabled Persons' Organizations(DPOs), enterprises, etc.. The great contribution of DET and COP has attracted the attention of UNESCO in China, and now it has budget money to support the both.

As an English teacher and a DET facilitator, I suppose my duty is to support my students to be one better than me. Then I witness many students transformed from being timid and less confident to being active and self-esteemed. Many DET participants get the chance to break their personal limits and begin to trust themselves in their ability to make change.

However for those, who are completely confident in their old thinking pattern, to input new idea into their mind proves difficult. A great many of my colleagues in the Disabled Persons' Federation(DPFs) turn out to belong to this category. My strategy is to respect them and make chance to show them evidence.

Once a postgraduate, a dwarf girl, came to have her internship in our office. She had been in other offices for several weeks and felt frustrated, because no one handed her real task, due mainly to her being dwarf, who are likely to be recognized as one needed special care. It is a very typical attitude toward PWDs in DPFs, as well as in public. After knowing her background and capacity, I distributed her some important tasks regardless of the questioning from others. My decision proved correct because finally, she finished the task excellently with the help from all office members. She said that working in our office was very busy, but enjoyable and fruitful. My colleagues, who felt nervous and uneasy to be with her at the beginning, work pleasantly together with her.

Till now, I'm the backbone in DPF in Jiangsu province because of my passion and my perspectives on the work. In my office, the facilitation skills are used to lead my colleagues to analyze the problems and solutions of our work, so that our plan and strategies are made under the guide of the new thinking pattern. Now, I'm appointed to be the main drafter of the reform scheme of JDPF and I'm trying to make it conform with the principle of social principle.

Maria [Contributor] - / 965 342  
Oct 21, 2019   #2
@Susan_jscl
Welcome here. I hope that the feedback you receive will be helpful for your learning endeavors. Please don't hesitate to give us a message if you have more concerns!

Technicalities, you should first mention the full definition of the acronym before mentioning what the acronym is in parenthesis. You had done the other way around.

Moreover, the latter parts of your writing also need a bit more push in terms of being concise. I have noticed that certain areas are messy mostly because of the lack of clear-cut definitions in between your writing. Remember that utilizing as much pauses through punctuation marks can go a long way for your writing!

In the latter parts of your essay, I have also noticed how the writing appears to be a little bit off-putting already. When you're trying to give details about a specific event, try your best to minimize the usage of language that appears to be vague. Be more specific with what truly transpired.
OP Susan_jscl 1 / 2  
Oct 22, 2019   #3
@Maria Thanks for your comments. I will refine it as soon as possible.
OP Susan_jscl 1 / 2  
Oct 26, 2019   #4
After participating in the Training of Facilitators of Disability Equality Training (TOF-DET) in 2014, the mission of my career hit me: to promote the more friendly, inclusive and fair society for everyone including persons with disability (PwDs). I can't change the society, not even a person. But I can enlighten and unite people to change the society together, with DET, respect, as well as trust.

A motivated and united group is always stronger than any powerful and intelligent individual. This came to me when I headed and coached the departmental volleyball team in Guizhou University, and led the team to the champion position. To maximize the influence of DET in China and support the professional growth of 40+ DET facilitators, two facilitators and I set up an online community of practice (COP) to , share experience of DET, make routine discussions about facilitation and disability, and arrange off-line meeting etc.. Until now, 200+ DET were conducted in China, with more than 4,000 participants from UN and government agencies, Disabled Persons' Organizations(DPOs), enterprises, etc.. The great contribution of DET and COP has attracted the concern from UNESCO in China, and now it has budget to support the two projects.

As a teacher and facilitator, my duty is to support others to be ones better than me, and wake them up to make change.

A silent but engaged woman with visual impairment caught my attention in a DET. During the break, I chatted casually, but intentionally with her. After knowing it was her first attendance of such a training, I expressed warm welcome and asked if she minded to answer an easy question in the following session. She agreed and then broke her silence. I appreciated sincerely for her contribution and noticed her being more and more active. Next morning, she shared excitedly and proudly that she came to the venue by herself. It was her first time to go outside without companion!

Once, a dwarf girl with post-graduate degree came to my department as an intern. In her previous internship, she was rather frustrated to find coworkers refusing to assign her any tasks out of pure pity. At that time, I was leading a 5-day training session. My colleagues tended to treat her differently as others had. I suggested to assign her specific tasks along with us, while encouraging them to support each other when necessary. Eventually, everyone finished their tasks beautifully with an enhanced friendship among them. The dwarf intern was full of confidence and satisfaction for achieving self-fulfilling. My colleagues harvested a meaningful experience, not only because of finishing the work together, but because it was their first time to have trusted and supported a disabled coworker. For the first time they have successfully put the awareness of disability equality into practice, even though they have talked about it for many years.

In my mind, a good leader inspires.


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