I was a little bit anxious about attending the Q Scotland event in Glasgow on Monday. Firstly because it was my first Q event and I didn’t know anyone else attending, but also because when I looked at the attendance list and saw all the job titles which mainly had the words ‘lead’ and ‘manager’ in them, my imposter syndrome was at large!
I’m no longer working in a role that has ‘quality’ and ‘improvement’ in my official title, and I worried about how I was going to convince the people at this event that I deserved my place in the conversations. However, as if by magic, one of the first points that Mark Kelvin (Director of Alliance Scotland) made in his talk about his experience as a Q member, was that you don’t have to have these words in your title in order to be an improver, or an agent for change, in community and in your workplace.
I had suggested the subject of ‘resilience’ as a topic for discussion in the afternoon break out sessions. My main reason for this was that leading change and influencing people to improve their services can leave us feeling stressed, exhausted and isolated, and I wanted the opportunity to chat with others about how they keep their collective chins up when it feels like everything is an uphill struggle.
I ended up facilitating this session, where the group discussed some practical tips for keeping well at work (such as setting clear boundaries and sticking to them, saying ‘no’ when we’re at capacity and ring fencing time for those things in life that bring us joy) and we also collectively had a bit of a vent about the things we struggle with in our roles, and agreed that venting in a safe space is also a practical thing we can do to help us keep on swimming.
Overall, I found this event valuable for making connections with some really interesting people involved in really inspiring work and also for helping me chip away at my imposter syndrome. I’m hoping there might be some other ‘imposters’ out there who read this, and maybe feel slightly better!