Michele Tocci works with Chisholm delivering industry training in the areas of leadership and management. Here, she explains what makes a leader stand out.

What makes a leader exceptional?

Whereas in the past, the approach was to crack the whip and pull people into line, things have changed, according to Chisholm industry trainer and assessor Michele Tocci.

“There’s still a really mixed attitude out there about what’s the best type of leader,” says Michele. “A lot of the people I’m working with have very old-fashioned leaders who are still channelling that chain of command approach to leadership, whereas I get them to do the communicate and collaborate approach, which makes them more human.

“I give them permission to be vulnerable yet brave in their leadership, allow them to know they don’t have all the answers, thereby enabling them to connect with their team.”

Michele loves delivering industry training in the areas of leadership and management and watching leaders grow. She provides training to a wide range of clients, including accredited courses and non-accredited courses on interesting topics like conflict resolution and emotional intelligence.

“When I can get leaders in business to be human-centric, that has an incredible ripple effect throughout their team,” says Michele. “It makes a difference not just for them and their team, but also for their organisation. That part is just amazing.”

The second part of Michele’s role at Chisholm is to support business trainees in the workplace.

Through the challenges of COVID and the lockdowns, Michele says one of the silver linings was that she became more connected than ever with her trainees in terms of that support role.

“With the trainees, often they are really young and it’s their first full-time job,” says Michele. “To mentor and support them through that is just magical.”

Michele has carved out a solid reputation as a leader herself, and for her work with Chisholm, she was nominated as Educator of the Year at the 2022 Chisholm Education Awards.

Her dedication to learn more and keep upskilling is inspiring.

As just one example, at the time of writing this article Michele had just spent three days working full-time hours, then attending an online conference based in Spain until 3am each morning.

Last year, she successfully applied for an international research fellowship on the topic of training to shift behavioural change.

“I love learning what I have to teach,” she says. “I’m a prolific reader. I also listen to podcasts and invest in my own training as well.”

“I have a passion for improvement.”