> Intensives
Liz Crow, Laura Cream and Rachel Bagshaw at the first intensives meeting

Sync Intensives

I found Sync 20 an incredibly useful experience for a number of reasons, but predominantly it was a great networking opportunity to build working relationships with my peers, and I found the coaching invaluable, giving me real tactics to work with to consolidate my own professional approach and ultimately developing a much more “confident” me. (Esther Appleyard – Joint Director, Accentuate)

In 2009, we ran a programme called Sync 20. This became Sync Intensives the following year and completed in Spring 2011.

Our bespoke programmes are designed for a small number of disabled people: designed take the Sync thinking and learning deeper through development days together with the option of one-to-one coaching.

As part of Sync Intensives, several of our members wrote a a case study - on themselves - and an article on an aspect of leadership and disability that interested them.

a photograph of Susan Austin underwater in her wheelchair called Submerged I stand Proud

So Sync Intensives?

I feel very excited and honoured to have been part of Sync Intensives. I first engaged with Sync through the Leaders into Leading Workshop in Bristol, which explored what the Sync Intensives programme would be all about. Meeting such a diverse range of interesting and exciting people and having my ideas about leadership completely transformed, I couldn't wait to apply. The process has been incredible and has changed everything for me. (Susan Austin)

Both programmes brought together a truly diverse group of people, not only in the range of their careers as artists, archivists and managers but also across disability specific areas of work and mainstream arts and cultural organisations.

Rachel Bagshaw now a Director at the Young Vic said that Sync Intensives gave her the 'space to reflect on where i was not balancing things well so I could actively make changes that really, really helped me to make the transition into my new role.'

As part of Sync Intensives we were able to additionally support 2 placements through CLP in 2010.

Deepa Shastri, who also works at StageText took up a part time placement with Unlimited, with London 2012 and Theresa de Swiet joined the Whitechapel Gallery in London.

Both were able to write articles that came directly from their placement learning and can be found in Sync Stuff.

A body map

Sync Intensives - the emphasis

Engineering the future is about understanding the generator (Jez Colborne)

As disabled people we might often blame our lack of progression on factors outside of ourselves.

Our bespoke programmes have a unique set of ingredients that really hone in on where individuals are not having useful inner dialogue with themselves about what they might be doing to hold themselves back.

Designed to get people exploring themselves with a different emphasis, our participants were able to meet in safe creative spaces with small numbers sharing their similar and sometimes very different experiences of impairment and the survival skills and talents they have developed so far on their careers to date.

Sync uses the IHD model of coaching using the 7 elements of purpose, vision, identity, values, passion, talents, choice as a reference.

In 1:1 sessions, individuals have been able to attend to those areas of difficulty and in doing so become more aligned and purposeful in the 'real life practice bit' in between coaching contact time and beyond the programme itself.

susan austin at a flipchart

The next round...

‘My journey has involved self discovery and also time to reflect on things I already knew but had forgotten. Along the way I've been inspired by new people and ideas, grown to feel confident in my beliefs about myself and the sector, and dug deeper into myself as a leader. I am an individual, not part of a movement or sector, and I feel stronger about my position and where I place myself now and into the future.’ (individual on Sync intensives 2010)

Sync Intensives 2011 is a further programme for 10 disabled people designed take the Sync thinking and learning deeper. It will pair leadership learning and one-to-one coaching:

• The 10 members will be given access to leadership training, including two full days of face-to-face development work as a group

• Each of the 10 will be offered personal coaching (with options ranging from face to face, by telephone or by email or msn)

Selected individuals will need to attend two days training and undertake work from home (approximately 30 hours over the 6 months of the programme). We will also expect Sync Intensive members to keep a learning diary or record in some form, reflecting on their journey and to provide a case study and/or article for the Sync website. The Sync Intensive process will be documented and information passed on to members of Sync and beyond. The coaching element for Sync Intensives will be delivered through a mixture of face-to-face, telephone and on-line methods and is confidential.

‘Coaching makes you feel like it’s ok to wear your jumper on inside out and not apologise. It is a bit like a wash on the delicate fabrics programme with the full spin on. Every session was like this but I noticed I became more tuned in with assessing issues and understanding them…’ Jenny Sealey, Artistic Director, Graeae Theatre Company

Sync Intensives will run from August 2011 to January 2012, and is open to all members of Sync who live in the UK.

‘I have been able to explore my own practices, engage with some theory, and had the opportunity to hear the experiences and approaches of others. All this has provided me with a wider context for learning and development. It has been a very powerful and motivating experience.’ (individual on Sync intensives 2010)

Faye Stewart

Sync Intensives selection

‘It is one of the most valuable career development initiatives that I have ever engaged with… It has had a profound and unexpected impact on my personal life in addition to my professional life.’ (individual on Sync intensives 2010)

The aim is to create a diverse group of disabled people for Sync Intensives, with people from different backgrounds working in different fields, with different levels of experience and with different perspectives on disability and leadership. Applications can be made by email, post, or by telephone (if these are not accessible to you, let us know and we’ll see what we can do).

‘Sync 20 was a chance I never had before to really get at what being a leader is while celebrating the strengths of my disability.’
Caroline Ward, Knowledge Organiser, Future Media and Technology at the BBC

These will be considered by the Sync team who will be looking for individuals who have the capacity to make the most of the Sync Intensive process and have the potential to make an impact in the fields in which they operate. Selecting this group is bound to be, to an extent, subjective and feedback will be available to unsuccessful applicants.

All applications must be received by 5.00pm, 29th July 2011 The application form will be available here to download from 4th July 2011,

(quotes are from people who undertook Sync 20 in 2008/9 and Sync Intensives in 2010)