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Shauniece Edwards  - Introduction to Team Leadership

Aucklander, Shauniece Edwards could not have imagined where life would take her when she decided to enrol in Intro to Team Leadership at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa early last year.

Employed as a support worker within the disability community, Shauniece wanted to step up into a senior kaiawhina role but began to realise she would need to upskill. She turned to Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and has not looked back.

“I realised I wasn’t a great communicator, and some of my behaviour wasn’t how it should be for a leader. Learning helped open my mind to the diversity in society and how not everyone learns the same way. I’ve been able to learn how to understand people and their barriers better, so I can help to support them,” she says.

While it was challenging learning new patterns of behaviour, she is immensely grateful for the skills and knowledge she has attained, which has brought positive change into her life.

Shauniece secured a secondment as a team leader and has been able to improve the communications with the team who help care for her son.

She admits that in the past she would not have held back her thoughts or criticism, but now she knows how to rephrase in a more constructive way to encourage progress and resolutions in a positive manner.

Shauniece attributes kaiako, Lucy Liu, as being the catalyst for change in her life. She describes Lucy as funny, understanding, and patient, and has a way of explaining things so tauira can understand and follow.

“She taught me in a way that I was able to learn more. There was so much knowledge I could grab and use.”

With Lucy’s support and guidance, Shauniece has been able to complete her certificate and walk the graduation stage to receive her tohu.

Shauniece now sees herself as on a never-ending journey of improvement. She has a thirst to keep learning to become a better employee, mother, wife, friend.

To others who are considering enrolling in the leadership programme, Shauniece tells them go for it.

“The sky’s the limit. I’m an example – what I’ve done in the past can stay in the past. I left school at 14, and never would have imagined I would get to where I am now”.

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Published On: 19 February 2024

Article By: Gemma Bradly-Jacka

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