Wednesday, April 13, 2011

“A real time example of Experiential Leaning”: The National Staff Training, March 2010

Era Premwani- Programme Manager

We are all born with talents and gifts that nobody else quite possesses as we do. Unfortunately, the vast majorities of people either live in total ignorance of their potential or fail to develop it. When professional developers discover people's unique potential, nurture it, build on it, develop it, and release it, they do far more than help those people perform. They create excellence. That is what Training and development is all about, “An environment where delegates can generate and experience real emotions and feelings as a direct consequence of both their physical and spoken participation in the process”.

The National Staff Training (NST) 2010 was inculcation of the sense of teamwork, team spirit, and inter-team collaborations. It equipped us to handle the challenges related to responsibilities competently with the objective to have a successful Award Management and Administration in place. Group participation, demonstration, insight, and interaction played a key role in the continued success of problem solving training. Delegates returned to the workplace with the knowledge and tools to creatively deal with challenges and decisions they do and may face. In today’s ever-evolving world, NST was a move to gather to strategise and evolve as one team nationwide to strengthen the structure of the Award in India.

Rob, Programme Manager of the Asia Pacific Region and Facilitator of NST 2010, through his unique experiential learning technique provided an opportunity and broadened the structure for the development of Award Leader’s technical skills. He also helped us to evaluate our personal growth in order to improve the overall personality of the delegates encouraging an “out of the box” thought process.

It bears repetition that NST 2010, is the first step process to kick-start growth of the Award in India with a strong support system in place. It allowed us to glean ways in which a modern manager can harness powerful skills to work with other functional talents in teams and to lead, not by the authority of command, but that of expertise. Team leadership, paradoxically, includes knowing when to hand over the lead to others, as their expertise moves to the fore. To conclude, passionate people are the drivers of the Award Programme everywhere. NST succeeded in unifying us to focus on “challenging young people everywhere!” for the common goal of improving lives of young people for better tomorrow.

March 25-26, 2010

The first National Staff Training for the India Award team commenced at 9 am on March 25, 2010. The Workshop was headed by the Asia Pacific Regional Programme Manager, Rob Oliphant and attended by the team from the National Award Office, the Regional Managers from the four zones and finally four Gold Award Volunteers. Dr. Sanat Kaul, Managing Trustee of the Award Programme Foundation welcomed everyone and shared the need of a comprehensive team in place to meet the goals of the Award Programme as we venture into a new era. To be successful leaders, it is necessary that every volunteer understand each of the five sections of the Award Programme very clearly. Bearing this idea in mind, Rob introduced us to Service section with the exciting blindfold activity. All delegates, divided into pairs blindfolded his/her partner and navigated around the hallway. It was a fun way to know how one can learn through compassion and to trust the instincts of another. To get the spirit of the Physical Recreation section, we went outdoors and juggled three balls while remembering the sequence and the word that each delegate attaches to this section. Post lunch, in teams we learnt distinguished the skills and the physical recreation section by listing alphabetically all possible skills and physical recreation. activities in teams. It was surprising that while we usually struggle with assigning activities, in teams we conquered the hurdle in a minute! We proceeded to the adventurous journey and the residential project sections and discussed how important it is for every young person to be sensitive to the environment, to have experience in communicating with new people and to do something for others. As we came to the end of Day 1, everyone remarked on how perceptions of the sections were much clearer. The Award Programme encourages every single person associated with it to think out of the box. Rob drove home this point with engaging activities on Day 2. The participants in three teams designed their own activity for the physical recreation, skill and the service sections with plastic toys like rattles, balloons, a guitar, some rope, playing cards, a Frisbee. The philosophy of the Award to stay committed and yet have fun is exceptional to the Award. The two day training workshop culminated with getting a clear picture of how to target to Equip as many young people and succeeded in establishing a well rounded. Thanks to everyone that helped make the NST a truly fun experience.

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