Hello PPMA members and friends

The PPMA Rising Star and The One to Watch programmes took place recently, with the final being held over 2 days in Leeds. It was fantastic event and the wonderful group of talented people, enjoyed a variety of activities. Over the next few weeks we are going to be running a series of blog posts from some of the participants about their experiences.  In this first post, we hear from Keeley Metcalfe who was our Rising Star runner up.

“Earlier this week someone asked me if I consider myself to be an introvert or an extrovert. This question was raised because I was describing how I love my own space, taking time to relax in my own company and ‘switch off’ after a busy day at work. My colleague proposed that I was an introvert due to my love of solitude, but my thoughts immediately sprung to a recent situation at the PPMA HR ‘Rising Star’ competition where I clearly described traits of an extrovert. At the PPMA event we were tasked to work in a small group to produce and deliver a 5 minute ‘Children’s TV advert’ incorporating singing and dancing, with 20 minutes preparation. We had just met our group colleagues in the previous hour, so there was a need to communicate quickly, sing, dance and get on with it! Realising that we had to leave our inhibitions behind I suggested that we leave the meeting room to prepare and practice in the hotel lobby. My view being that if we can dance and sing in a public hotel reception area, we can certainly present to a group of 25 people who we had just met.

In short our group developed and delivered our tv advert for a toy called a ‘Flubberwotsit’, a tropical bird toy who has a ‘Great big beak and stompy feet’. Hopefully you can start to imagine the singing and dancing element….

Reflecting on my participation in the activity, I clearly displayed some of the traits of an extrovert; quickly problem solving through discussion, taking a shared leadership role, getting stuck in and not being concerned about what others thought (mostly those in the hotel reception who saw 4 people imitating a tropical Flubberwotsit’).

In summary, I think I am somewhere ‘in-between’ an introvert and an extrovert, it doesn’t really matter. I believe that what is more important is to have an ability to reflect on things you have done and how you behaved, assessing if you would do things differently next time. This helps personal development and learning and raises our own self-awareness, an essential skill in the world of HR. The PPMA Rising Star competition placed us in a variety of challenging situations to test our knowledge and skills. It’s a great opportunity to reflect on our own approach and to help us to learn about our reactions and recognise development needs.”

Keeley Metcalfe, Senior HR Adviser, North Yorkshire County Council