MIFTAH caps off training on communication, leadership, assertion, teamwork and media skills
On December 29, 2018 MIFTAH capped off a three-day training workshop on communication, leadership, assertion, teamwork and media skills in the southern, northern and central districts of the West Bank as part of its project, “Support Women Participation in Public Life”. The project, which is funded by the Norwegian Representative Office, targets female members of local councils.
MIFTAH project manager Hanan Said explained that the training targeted a group of female local council members in the three districts and was aimed at motivating the members, who were all elected in the 2017 local council elections, to play a leadership role in changing the status quo through promoting their political participation in public life. This, she said, was by providing them with the knowledge, skills and values to help them develop their performance and take on a true role in changing and developing society as part of a cohesive team working towards elevating Palestinian society. The skills, Said maintained, revolved around leadership, working within a team and learning communication skills since this is one of the key components in human interaction. “Having a sound, agreed on and effective communications system makes it easier for members of society to analyze problems and situations,” she said. “It also makes it easier for them to find the appropriate solutions to these problems, which they face at work, and to use dialogue and discussion in their communication instead.”
Trainer Marlene Rabadi said one of the most important outcomes at the cognitive level was introducing and understanding of the concept of leadership, the patterns of leadership, the tasks assigned to it and the qualities of an effective leader. Another important outcome was understanding and learning about means of communication with the media and ways of advertising and promoting the activities and projects they implement through their local councils, in addition to learning about means and methods of asserting oneself.
At the skills level, the outcomes included obtaining new skills that enabled the council members to take on the leadership role allotted to them and to develop their abilities in working as a team. They also acquired effective communication skills, learned how to communicate with the media and gained skills that will allow them to assert their presence in public life. Their participation was broadened and self-confidence boosted in terms of their ability to lead in an effective and creative way; they were urged to work as a team to achieve their goals and work in the direction of constructive dialogue based on understanding, acceptance of the other and respect for the opinions of others. Rabadi continued that their “perspectives were honed on the importance of communicating with the media and promoting the projects and activities they carry out through their local councils in addition to developing their viewpoint on the importance of asserting themselves.”
Rabadi recommended the need to expand the scope of knowledge among the trainees on political, social and economic issues and to hold training sessions for them on gender issues. She said many of them held ideas that reinforce women’s inferiority, especially the older local council members.
Communication skills: The training focused on communication skills and teamwork in terms of the features of a team, the rights and duties of each team and the leader, the definition of communication, its properties, goals, means, methods and steps towards conveying messages, in addition to the components of effective communication and the qualities of an effective communicator.
Communicating with the media: The training also focused on communicating with the media through tools to build relationships with media outlets for advertising and promoting activities, projects and advocacy campaigns which the local council members plan and implement; writing news on the events in local councils in terms of: the components of writing a news piece; the means for sending it to the media and guaranteeing its publication; mechanisms for building a relationship with the media to promote a campaign; corresponding with local radio, television and satellite stations in order to mobilize journalists and the media, urge them to give attention to local council activities and to build a relationship with them and earn their trust.
Assertion and leadership: The subject of assertion and leadership occupied an important part of the training. It included: the definition and types of leadership; who is a leader; the difference between a leader and a boss; qualities of an effective leader; the difference between a natural leader and a leader trained to lead; the definition, importance and ways of self-assertion; patterns of various ways of thinking; patterns of various personalities; relationships that show a lack of self-assertion and how to boost this assertion.
Majdoleen Kiwan, member of the Sabastiya local council near Nablus, expressed how much she appreciated the training course, especially the part on communication skills and ways to connect with her audience and the media. “In the past, I received training on this topic but most of it was theoretical. The style was different in MIFTAH’s training and depended on practical implementation and not just instruction. This will enable myself and my colleagues to better express ourselves and impact our communities, something we were not capable of before.”