“I have no idea what I’m doing”, and other lies we tell ourselves

Babushka dolls. The top half of the larger doll is lying on its side, while the smaller doll stands inside the bottom half of the larger doll.

“We’re sorry, we’ve made a mistake….  

…. you’re not the right person for the job. ”

If you regularly imagine someone tapping you on the shoulder and telling you this, then you may well be experiencing the ImposterPhenomenon (note: over time it has come to be known as a syndrome, but it was named the ImposterPhenomenon by the original researchers, Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes). 

Maybe it’s something you notice in your job (‘Everyone else here knows what they’re doing – I’m just faking it!’) your personal life (‘I’m meant to be the adult here?’) or in your union role (‘Are members in my branch right to trust me?’) but individuals at all levels of organisations can experience the impostor phenomenon, and one of the most helpful things to understand is that it’s definitely ‘a thing’.  Identifying it and bringing it into conscious awareness enables us to do something about it.  

That’s why UNISON is working with The Open University to bring you an exciting new workshop, Exploring the Imposter Phenomenon, as part of the UNISON College.

What will I take away? 

Through theory, exercises and discussion, you will:  

  • Explore the Imposter Phenomenon more deeply 
  • Gain insight into the symptoms and possible causes of the Imposter Phenomenon  
  • Discuss strategies for tackling the Imposter Phenomenon head-on
  • Experiment with a number of techniques to address specific symptoms of the Imposter Phenomenon  
  • Take away your own action plan for managing the Imposter Phenomenon  

This session will be facilitated by Julia Philpott, who has been an executive coach for 14 years and particularly enjoys working with female leaders and women aspiring to leadership roles.  Julia has worked with a range of clients, including senior executives in the automotive, education, food and drink and advertising industries and happily acknowledges impostor symptoms at the prospect of running this session! 

The workshop will conclude with a panel discussion and question and answer session focussed on aspects such as the value of coaching in management practice, self-awareness, how it feels to be a coach in your own organisation and the importance of boundaries. 

This online workshop will be delivered by experts from The Open University Business School and Management Futures.  This event is for UNISON members only and is expected to be popular.  There are only 150 spaces for participants, so early booking is recommended. 

Find out more and sign up