Within the context of the Leadership Development for Better and Accountable Governance project, the Community Development Department of Silveira House organized a Leadership training workshop for Bindura University of Science Education Student leadership at Mayfair Lodges and Restaurant in Bindura, Mashonaland Central Province. The training spoke to the University’s Students affairs theme for the year 2020: I Thrive, I Survive, I lead-Victory is Thrust Upon Me. The one-day event, held on the 27th of February 2020, attracted a total of 65 participants 28, females and 37 males. The new dean of students, Mr Mazodze, gave the welcome remarks and as did the staff who attended, spent the whole day with us. A total of 5 presentations were made by the four facilitators, 3 from Silveira House, and 1 from the University. Participants greatly appreciated the organization of the workshop whose contents spanned from transparency and accountability to conflict management and peace building sessions.
Methodology of the Training
The training composed of interactive sessions led by the four facilitators using a combination of power point presentations, video clips, handouts and flip charts as training material, as well as group discussions.
Participants’ expectations and challenges were bench marked using a flip chart. Through the interactive process, the following expectations were raised:
- To be well-equipped with life skills.
- To learn about grooming, etiquette and ethics.
- To interact and network with other leaders.
- To learn new leadership skills.
- To get good food and new knowledge.
- To get to know the qualities what is expected of a good leader.
- To know how to identify and utilise opportunities in the 21st Century
- To know how to constructively correct others in a group.
- To learn how to train others
- To be able to define leadership philosophy
- To share leadership ethics and values
- To learn “how to never give up”.
- To learn about problem solving a conflict management
- To better Coordinate and work as a teamwork.
After introductions, Mr Mazodze, the new Dean of Students gave the welcoming remarks and introductions. He exhorted the students to be honesty and be people of integrity, shunning corruption and disruptive behaviour.
Session One: Leadership, Transparency and Accountability
Mr Mumpande’s presentation focused on Leadership, Transparency and Accountability. He took the participants through the different views on the topic using examples from international political figures, (Presidents Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Magufuli of Tanzania) to drive home his points, underlining the importance of accountability and transparency in leadership.
The presentation touched on the following themes:
- Leadership and mindset change
- Transparency: doing things in a manner that is clear and open to all relevant stakeholders. It entails timely and accurate disclosure on all material matters, including the financial situation, performance, ownership and corporate governance.
- Accountability: The obligation of a power holder to take responsibility for their actions.
- Social Accountability: A process of offering /getting explanations or justifications on the use of public resources by the people entrusted with responsibility for their management to fulfil the needs of the public communities.
- Principles of Social Accountability:
- Fairness and Inclusiveness
- Integrity and Honesty
- Rule of law
- Good Information Dissemination
- Records Management
- The presentation also touched on the who, why, when, and importance of social accountability in the context of leadership.
Session Two: Youth Leadership
Fr Moyo SJ’s presentation, on Youth Leadership, thought provoking and highly charged with scientific and philosophical overtones, challenged participants to first answer the question: What is the purpose of my life? Summing it up in the words of Woodrow Wilson:” …You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.”
The salient points from the presentation were:
- That the universal vocation/purpose of life is to promote life, i.e. promoting one ‘s personal life and development and the life of others. This requires LEADERSHIP.
- Leadership is more about BEING (values, beliefs, assumptions, worldview) than about DOING (behaviour).
- Is like an operating system from which we generate action.
- Starts with showing up in the world with authenticity, integrity, commitment to something bigger, and an open heart.
- To be a great leader one must first become a great person (Robin Sharma).
- Personal leadership entails that, “Before you lead others, you have to lead yourself first”, i.e. knowledge of oneself. (cf. St Ignatius of Loyola).
- It is important to know oneself and one’s context to make right decisions.
Session Three: Adversity Enhanced Programming and Initiatives
Mr Mutambisi, the Coordinator, Off-Campus, facilitated the discussion on Adversity Enhanced Programming and Initiatives. Starting off by contextualising student leadership, the presentation highlighted the different shocks and stress students are exposed to and suggested different facets of resilience programming.
The specific themes touched on during the presentation were:
- Contextualising student leadership (SRCs, clubs and societies, faculty representatives, sub-wardens, sports captains and couches and course and group leaders)
- Levels of shock: international, regional, provincial, institutional.
- Students leadership programmes with a special focus on mitigating and adapting to and recovering from shocks and reducing chronic vulnerability.
- Identifying the shocks and stresses: International and national shocks
- Resilience programming: focusing on identifying, supporting and enhancing resilience capacities and capitalising on opportunities for innovation and adaptation.
- The primacy of mindset shift: i.e. shifting focus to avoid stagnation.
Session Four: Conflict Management and Peace Building
Mr Madhekeni had two presentations, one on Conflict Management and Peace Building and another on Grooming and deportment. The former underlined the idea that learning to manage conflict is integral to a high-performance team. The key areas discussed were:
- Understanding conflict: including types, sources, and response of conflicts,
- Conflict prevention
- Conflict management
- Conflict transformation / Peace building
The presentation gave participants a chance to determine early warning signs of conflict in their different leadership contexts.
Session Five: Grooming and Deportment
A highly popular session, the grooming and deportment presentation focused on the importance of grooming, body care, the do’s and don’ts of grooming as well as on meetings and personal development. Personal grooming and deportment as outward signs that one cares enough about one’s appearance, generally, indicate a certain level of professionalism and resultantly earns client and workmate’s confidence and respect.
The workshop was evaluated using a combination of interactive flipcharts and questionnaires. Participants appreciated the workshop content with some expressing the need to devote more time on selected topics in future. Some also participants felt that ample time should be given when discussing selected topics. Either workshops should be more than a day or fewer topics selected per workshop to allow for in-depth interactive processes.
- Although workshop participants, from students to staff, expressed great satisfaction with the workshop both in terms of content and organization, they would want to see Silveira House and the Bindura University of Science Education collaborate again in future and tackle the following topical themes:
- Gender based violence
- Grooming for student leaders
- Conflict transformation
- How to be initiative as a leader
- Managing pressure as a leader
- Emotional intelligence
- Teamwork and team building
- Peer pressure management at tertiary institutions
- Entrepreneurship and life skills
- Human and interpersonal relations
- Effective Communication
- Students health issues
- Confidence building
- Transformative leadership
- How to train leaders
- How to tackle challenges of the harsh economic environment
- Advocacy issues
- Leadership styles and approaches
The one-day leadership training workshop for Bindura University of Science Education student’s leadership at Mayfair Lodges and Restaurant in Bindura, surpassed expectations of most of the participants. Participants came out of the workshop more enlightened as student leaders. They appreciated the unique experience provided by the collaboration of Silveira House and the University to network as leadership peers. This was a transformative workshop which gave more to the participants, but which ironically also left the them asking for more. A testimony to the success of the activity.