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Interview with Mandy Hickson

In her interview with A-Speakers, Mandy Hickson gives her best tips for how to lead under pressure, and shares her inspiration and insights from her career as a former Royal Air Force pilot and public speaker.

What is the main message that you hope your audiences take away from your presentations?


The key message of teamwork runs throughout all my sessions. Trust is the one aspect that allows teams to grow but, if eroded, can so easily break them down. I give excellent examples of teams going the extra mile, supporting and empowering each other to enable all within the team to be successful.


Who or what inspires you most?


My Mum has always been the most incredible role model, she always led her two daughters to believe that anything was possible with hard work, sheer determination and not giving up when there appear to be insurmountable obstacles in your pathway.


What do you gain personally from being a public speaker?


I find my role to be incredibly rewarding, to be able to make grown men cry and school children laugh out loud! The best times are when I receive an email from someone after my presentation, telling me how I have made them really think about where they are and to aim high in the future.


What unique experiences have you had as a result of your unusual profession as a Royal Air Force Pilot?


There are too many to share…you will have to book me to join you and you will be able to hear a few of them!!


What are your 3 best tips for leading effectively under pressure?


To remain calm
To force yourself to look at the bigger picture, stepping back, so you do not overly focus your attention on the wrong details or minutia.
To make a decision after looking at all the facts and be happy to be held accountable for your actions after the event.


What was your inspiration for founding Inspiring Women for Work?


I felt that when I returned to work after my maternity leave, that I was a different person and I held doubts as to whether I could still operate as effectively as I had before. I felt that my confidence had been eroded. I believed that if I had the opportunity to discuss my feelings, regain my confidence and realise that of course I had changed, but perhaps I had gained more skills, I was actually a better and more rounded person, I would have felt much easier in the transition back to work.

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