My three years as Vice President for Communication have been truly wonderful. I am grateful for the amazing leaders and teams I have been able to work with to enhance communication for SCP. As I rotate out of this role in August, I want to take the time to reflect, look forward, and consider the leadership lessons I’ve learned.
- I was able to lead a Communications Policy Task Force of great SCP leaders and members. You answered our survey about what you wanted to see in each of our communications tools, and we provided clear recommendations for creating change to a more member-focused, versatile, and instant level of communication.
- Bryana French, as Director of the Board of Communications, with her incredible team, then created what we now know as SCP Connect with features such as “Counseling Psychologists in the News” and member-submitted articles.
- With the help of Milo Dodson, our Social Media Coordinator, we started the SCP Facebook Group where you can post content to other SCP members and continued a tradition of Twitter and Facebook posts from APA convention so that members who are there and at home can get excited about what is happening in SCP programs.
- Danice Brown and Jioni Lewis, our Media and Public Relations Coordinators, have just appointed a Writing Team of students and ECPs who will create fresh and vital content for SCP Connect.
- The whole communications team is consulting with an expert who will help us create timely posts on SCP Connect and our social media so that you can always feel connected to the community of Counseling Psychologists and Counseling Psychology students.
- The three Counseling Psychologists who are running for VP for Communications are excellent leaders and will carry forward these changes as well as bring their own strengths to the role. I am excited to see where they take it.
- Communications among leadership within SCP is just beginning to be enhanced, and I am confident this will continue. The Vice Presidents have begun a regular phone meeting with each other, and the Executive Board has begun to have more meetings by conference call to bridge the time between annual and mid-winter meetings.
My own leadership style is often as a catalyst, bringing about change and new approaches. However, in my last few leadership roles, I have learned that creating sustainable change requires a different skill set. Specifically, I have to build up the processes of change slowly and with a great deal of collaboration and input from others. If I do too much myself, then the change may not stick when I’m no longer there to hold it in place. The form of the change itself has to come from the team or community so that there is a group will to maintain it through future challenges.
And I have to listen carefully to some of the traditions to see what should not be changed—or if there is some part of the past that needs to be kept even as we roll forward into the future. This tension between old and new came up when I wanted to honor the spirit of ethical accountability as we responded to the Independent Review of APA. However, I forgot to consider how our words might appear to SCP members who serve in the highest levels of APA leadership, so I failed to warn them or to thoughtfully edit our words. There was a thoughtful tradition of giving friends a heads-up when something hurtful may come their way that I failed to uphold here. It was helpful to have the chance to apologize and an honor to hear what the past year has been like for those who are at the heart of APA’s current crisis.
I am honored to have had the chance to serve, to help the Communications Team move forward, to make mistakes and learn from them. I am grateful for the honest communication of leaders and members to help me become a better leader and create a more open community within SCP. I hope that each of you will participate and voice your own successes, lessons learned, and needs as an SCP member. The space is open for you: on our Facebook group, through submitting your own article to SCP Connect, or by contacting an SCP leader. May you be blessed on your journey as a Counseling Psychologist as I have been in this role.
Tags: Early Career Professionals, Governance and Leadership, Service