Petra Roesler, Training Coordinator, Kardinal König Akademie, Vienna, Austria.
Who exactly am I as a leader in palliative care or a hospice setting? A partner, a boss, or a mere servant?
In late November 2012, twelve managers from Albania, Czech Republic, Hungary, Moldova, Romania and Slovenia spent two days at Kardinal Koenig Akademie in Vienna, Austria, to ponder this question and learn about professional leadership models. Karin Krischanitz, an Austrian trainer well versed in NGO (non-governmental organisation) management, and Magda Veselska from Bratislava, Slovakia, who has vast experience in running hospices and clerical institutions, provided input and a learning setting that combined the personal and the theory.
“I found out that it’s really important for my team that I provide the service of leadership”, said one participant.
And a manager of a team of 35 commented:
“I have been looking too much on the outside, on funding and politics and media relations.”
He went home with the idea of ‘Writing a Christmas card to everyone on my team on the train home, focusing on the special role each of them has in the work we provide.’
The workshop was the fourth in a series of annual trans-national workshops that are delivered in English and organised by Kardinal König Akademie. The workshop is funded by the Erste Foundation, which enables us to charge only a very modest fee for tuition, food and accommodation. Each year, an important topic in leadership or training is covered in an interactive, very lively manner to make sure the participants can link the inputs to their practice at home. While in 2009 we started out with an overview of the hospice care and training opportunities in CEE countries, the topics in 2010 and 2011 were ‘Diversity as a valuable resource’ and ‘Dialogue and narration,’ respectively. Networking is always an important goal of the workshops and some participants have forged professional friendships in the Vienna setting. In 2013, the workshop will be held in late October and focus on conflict management, with a view on the particular challenges that may arise in palliative and hospice care.