Learner Success

Light Bulb Moments Inspire Sarah

Sarah Dunne

For some of our Enterprise Leadership participants, registering for a professional development module takes courage. Coming to a workshop day with others, contributing to the discussion and doing the learning activities can take many people out of their comfort zones.

This may be the fear that others will judge their efforts, or that completing the tasks will be beyond their abilities. Or they often think professional development is a privilege afforded to others, and not for them.

By the time our participants get to their first morning tea break, these fears have usually gone away. Everyone is in the same boat, and we are all there to help and support each other.

This was Sarah’s story. Sarah was very nervous about completing Communicating for Results, with Aubrey Warren. As a member of the Enterprise Leadership customer support team, she had helped many participants achieve success. However, she needed convincing that she could participate in the learning as well. She overcame her anxiety, learned new skills and is now encouraging others in the team to participate.

Read Sarah’s story below.

Who or what influenced/inspired you to apply?

As a team, we have been encouraged to involve ourselves in the Professional Development modules that QUTeX delivers. It was suggested that I complete the Enterprise Leadership: Communicating for Results.

I’ve been interested in doing more professional development so was excited to be nominated for this module.

What was your personal growth story?

As I worked within the Enterprise Leadership team, I have always been an advocate of these modules. Being involved and completing this module provided me further insights into how I communicate with people along with how we communicate as a team.

This course has provided me the tools to step out of my comfort zone, be brave and simply be a better colleague to my team. Although I already ‘knew’ the topics, it lighted a fire in me that gave me a will to work on bringing our team closer to working and supporting each other. We are all so busy with our day-to-day tasks that we don’t take the time to simply stop and help each other out. ‘Communicating for Results’ provided me ideas on how to do exactly that – communicate with my team and work as a team.

There were many ‘lightbulb moments’ that questioned the way I communicate and how others communicate with me.

How did this study transform you / or the organisation that you work for?

As mentioned, although I knew what Aubrey was talking about, there were many ‘lightbulb moments’ that questioned the way I communicate and how others communicate with me. To be able to walk into work and place the tools/skills that have been taught is such an asset – the real-world examples and organic conversations that were being had were invaluable.

What was the highlight of your study experience?

The workplace learning challenge! It did just that – it challenged me to take a real workplace situation and put in place the tools and stories that were taught within Day 1. The organic conversations and trust that everyone has with each other in the room is amazing – it provided me the courage to be brave and be able to talk openly to the group without judgement.

What advice would you give to someone looking at trying to do what you have done?

Just do it! It may seem overwhelming however once in the room, there is a sense of trust and everyone is there to support and assist.

Explore more…
Participating in the ELP program can give you credit into our MBA and Masters of Business programs.  Find out more.


QUTeX Professional Development Planner


Dr Kate Joyner is the Interim Director, Corporate Programs and Learning Innovation in the Graduate School of Business, QUT. Kate provides academic leadership for the Public Sector Management Program and delivers executive education in the areas of leadership, systems thinking and strategy. Kate’s speciality is developing leaders and leadership groups for the challenges of the 21st century.

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