The trainer for the day was Lynda Ongel Lepcha, Founder Director, Holistic training solutions. She was accompanied by two of her male colleagues clad in suits and it imparted some corporate touch initially. But as we proceeded it was very informative and two trainers were friendly too.I usually feel the tuxedo wearing people are the austere types and ones who talk less(that business like feel). They brought along many printed materials and they were all so easy to follow and understand. The talks lead us to understanding some words that we usually assume to be easy, but has the deeper meaning untouched. We kept on doing the exercises that she made us to do one after another. On completion of each task we learned a technique and walked a step ahead in learning the big picture of Leadership strategy execution.
• Understanding Strategy
• Creating a Vision
• Critical success factors
• Executing Strategy
One of the exercises which I like most was the Desert survival experiment. It taught us about making yourself heard and being able to convince the team members within the short time as well as listening to others and their reasons. It was about brainstorming, arguing and being logical. Once the result is declared, I loved the light moment where we reflect on how one should have listened to the other. There were many other innovative tasks and the final one was strategising toward a vision we have in our own field. A newspaper article was prepared on that and then it was presented in a manner GALLERY, this was a nice concept again. Rather than the entire crowd listening to one person at a time, each group goes around to hear from a speaker from another group. At a time everyone is listening, but each group is listening to different groups.
Following that we listed the critical success factors and then they were prioritized. We further worked on plans that will make the vision more achievable.
At the end as Lynda said in the morning we indeed had a CEREBRAL day.
Trainer for the day was Sharling Tenzin Dhardon. The topic was Communication strategy, social media and leadership. There were many recreational games highlighting the importance of communication, listening being a pivotal tool. At the end of most tasks we were to come up with our own ideas of why it was a failure or a success. There were various examples of strategic communication and exercises also. Advertisements being a great example of communication we studied several of them and even made one of our own too.
Our team prepared a Ad on Tibetan Herbal tea, the tag line being “ Everything can happen with a cup of Tibetan herbal tea”. Our story was set in a University and was about how that Herbal tea helped in bridging Friendship between Tibetan and Chinese Students and later the same friends becoming the leader of the two nations and continuing their friendship. We tried to convey how that tea sort of calm the tensed mind and helps in making better decisions.
There were outdoor games too, it tested our application of strategic communication skills. The narrow bridge game with the brick as stepping plots was a playful method of being strategic in our communication.
Then there was the larger topic on social media, citizen journalism and how impactful it can be. I am aware of all these mass movements, but the concept just got clearer from the training, It was like we received the much needed polish to what we have been doing all this time. There was also screening of TWA’s production, Lhamo Tso – behind the sea that left everyone with moist eyes. This short documentary narrated to us the story of Dhondup Wangchen from the eyes of his wife and daughter.
We were later briefed about our next day outbound training. Dhardon la spoke to us about the communal riots in Muzzafarnagar. I have scanned some news article on this matter several times but never bothered to really understand the story. But that day we were explained about what all happened there since September 7, 2013. Then finally when we were told that we are going to the relief camps, I was like Really? The answer was an obvious YES. All the arrangements were done already and TWA has coordinated with Zakat Foundation (Delhi based NGO) who is doing the major relief work in the Muslim camps. We were expected to complete an undercover Photostory as a report from the outbound trip.
Since we were not sure how long the journey will be and whether we will get places to stop and eat on the way, we shopped snacks for the next day and did preps for the talent night.
The worst part of the journey was the boring playlist that was being played on the bus. I don’t like having earphones on in the bus and I resort to the main music being played. Only occasionally there was a song that I knew and sang along. Only if the driver had a good taste in music the journey would have been many times memorable.
I am writing a separate blog post for this day. I don’t want to leave behind the details from that day.
Today was the final day and the concluding event of the week. It was held at India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road. The panel discussion was scheduled in the room Casauriana. Reaching the spot my friends started taking photos in the premises, but I had an unwell stomach so I was more into getting seated and finding the cloak room. The place has the nice ambience and imparts the air of education and intellect. The attendants at the food counter was kind enough to give me sweet and salty warm water (home made ORS) on request of my friend. The topic of the event was “ Role of women in Peacebuilding, reconciliation and in taking accountability. We had 2 women speakers Souzeina S Mushtaq (Writer, journalist) and Dr. Alana Golmei( activist and founder director Burma centre ) and in the noon we had Sh. Mani Shankar Iyer. He started speaking about the diversity in India, the various religions and a great deal of history that slighty went overhead for me. He mentioned that only when sufficient women power is harnessed then along with men power it sums up to Human power. And another line which was powerful enough that “ Power needs women more than how much women need power”. He stressed how women are the one who make the ends meet in a family by stretching every penny. He said that all his life, his family was entirely women except for the dog they have at home and it made the crowd break into laughter.
It was followed by a grand lunch and final conclusion with the feedback session ‘spin a yarn’.
On our way back i realised how the auto driver this morning has duped us by charging almost double the actual fare. I really need to work on this still THE ART OF BARGAINING IN INDIA.
The Talent nite:
We reached back to complete all the pending work. The Photostory, learning the climax for our dance number, packing gift for our secret friend etc. As things don’t always turn right at the last moment we had the entire problems popping in, “The room is locked? Who took the key?”, “Where is the card reader? The laptop charger is missing..! The windows movie maker has just hung up..So we had to resort to all the alternatives and plan B. The evening extravaganza, though prepared in a very short time was really entertaining. This has been the first ever New Year in my life during which I was dancing with the crowd till the clock was exact 12. All those crazy dance steps I saw in the TV last vacation were of some help 🙂 . This 7 day experience ended with lots of knowledge, memories, encouragements, laughter, friends, cerebral flexing, inspiration and the much needed push for the self esteem. 2013 ended that way and what awaited us the next morning was a brand new year.
“For last year’s word belong to the last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.”
– T.S. Eliot