Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Edith Cowan University, Western Australia in association with Khon Kaen University, Thailand and Bansomdejchaopraya Rajabhat University, Thailand.


EDU-COM 2006 International Conference. Engagement and Empowerment: New Opportunities for Growth in Higher Education, Edith Cowan University, Perth Western Australia, 22-24 November 2006.


The Reflective Leader Development Workshop was designed to professionally and personally develop individual leaders in the health care and education industries into working teams. It was used to meld the individual nursing administrators and school heads in the Master of Education (Educational Management) programme at Universiti Brunei Darussalam into small cooperative leadership learning teams that would function after the programme, as workplace support networks. However, the need for renewal of leadership is always present. It readily became obvious that a workshop using reflective journeys could engage and empower leadership teams in the workplace at individual and group levels. So the workshop is now available locally and regionally as a four day consultancy promoting powerful distributed leadership in the workplace. The key to this personalised yet group learning process is of the type that anthropologists have documented as being in use in tribes and communities since pre-history. It is a four-day live-in retreat workshop that uses powerful ‗rite of passage‘ processes to engage and renew team spirit. This workshop process entails; (1) separating from one‘s usual workday; (2) immersing into a personal journey of interaction, discussion, reflection; and (3) finally emerging from this ‗liminal world‘ to an invigorated sense of ‗integration and oneness‘ with personal and professional insight. The workshop content includes the reflective and relationship aspects of a typical leader adventure course without being too physical, thus allowing leaders of all physical abilities to fully participate. Pent-up isolation and uncertainty from being exposed to isolating workplace structures and day to day stress suddenly evaporate during the workshop. Leader behaviour change is dramatic. After the workshop, a sense of energised synergy radiates from the participants. This readily converts into motivated and inspired leadership renewal.