YouthProAktiv implemented their last training in Brussels, Belgium! It took place from the 3rd to 8th of July 2022 on the topic “Positive Leadership & Communication for the Empowerment of green & inclusive Youth Work”.
The non-formal education training was proposed, planned and implemented to activate and keep the youth community engaged and ensure equal opportunities among people of all backgrounds. This needs to be done through effective communication and youth workers have a key role in this task. They already reach those who are disadvantaged and, using the right communication style, they can motivate them and increase their engagement and opportunities.
Hence, the main targets that YPA wanted to address through this training were:
- To equip youth workers with competencies and methods needed to effectively understand the needs, reach and communicate with the youngsters they are working with.
- To put a focus on the most disadvantaged groups ensuring their inclusive empowerment through, social and civic activation, critical thinking, ecological awareness, a sense of initiative, and respect for human rights and EU values, through effective communication.
And more specifically, the project is aiming at:
- Boost youth workers’ professional and personal competencies and leadership skills as the most effective way to reach and empower the youth and especially the most disadvantaged youth.
- Boost youth workers’ leadership skills by deepening into self & others awareness methods and activities as the best way to effectively map and understand the needs of youngsters and especially the most disadvantaged youth.
- Boost youth workers’ leadership skills by deepening into communication styles and techniques in order to effectively reach, mobilize, and empower these youth groups.
- Increase youth workers’ awareness of environmental challenges, how they affect the lives of disadvantaged youngsters &how to enhance environmental leadership.
Hence, throughout the five training days, the training “Positive Leadership & Communication for the Empowerment of green & inclusive Youth Work” gathered in Brussels 32 youth workers from different countries such as: Belgium, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Turkey, Lithuania, France, North Macedonia, Armenia and Romania. During the training, the participants had the opportunity to strengthen their skills and knowledge in different types of leadership, personality types and communication styles with the support of a facilitator from YPA and Paloma Cantero Gómez, trainer at WeDoPositiveLiving. They exchanged best practices from their organizations, used creative methods for understanding how to communicate to different personality types, and used active listening to learn more about leadership and conflict management. The program also included different hands-on activities, in-depth presentations, exchange of best practices, self-reflections and community-building activities for peer learning.
A key aspect of this training were our partners: Active Youth, European Integration Group, CET PLATFORMASKOPJE, Nuwa Group, Youth for Development Foundation, Human Rights Research Center, Jövőt ÉpítőkGenerációja Egyesület, CREATIVE+, EKO and Social innovation and Integration group. They carefully selected very motivated and involved youth workers who brought their knowledge on the topics and previous experiences, which undoubtedly added value by increasing the quality and diversity of the exchange.
The first day of the training was planned as an introduction and team-building day, to work on building a safe environment where anyone could ask questions and express their feelings. First, our trainer introduced positive leadership and afterwards presented some study cases that opened the floor to discussions and exchange of experiences. The study cases made specific emphasis on inclusive leadership and on green leadership. This triggered reflection and was used as a warming up and first approach to the topic. At the end of the day, the youth workers also had a reflection on their previous experiences on this field.
On the second day, the youth workers actively engaged in the trainer’s presentations on personality types, character and temperament. They also worked with the Big Five Personality Test, which was used to help them learn more about the needs and motivations associated with different character traits, so they can better understand the people they will lead in the future. On this day, our trainer also explained the role of emotional intelligence on leadership, youth workers made an EQ test and learnt some tools on how to work on enhancing their EQ. At the end of the day, they also worked on finding role models that would inspire them and from which they could also learn, as a tool for leadership and how to increase EQ as well.
The third day of the training was dedicated to communication. Our trainer and facilitator presented different communication strategies and introduced practical exercises where the attendants had the opportunity to put them into practice. How should we sell things to a specific type of person? Are they the same way as I am? How should I communicate so I can have a fruitful discussion with a sceptical person which has the opposite opinion of me in a specific topic? These are the kinds of topics that were addressed and which our attendants worked on.
On the fourth day, there was an exchange of best practices where each organization group presented some of their projects to others, and the rest had the opportunity to ask. This broadened the youth worker’s knowledge on the types of projects that they could implement, served as an exchange of best practices on similar projects, and we all had the opportunity to ask other organizations regarding the aspects of leadership and project management that each of us finds most difficult. As an outcome of this, the final activity of the day was an Organization plan, where each group worked on future activities that they will implement in their home countries, to share the knowledge that they had acquired during this training.
The final day was the final reflection and self-evaluation of the knowledge, skills and attitudes acquired, the YouthPass Ceremony, and a very emotional goodbye.
Despite the busy and productive agenda, the participants also had time for leisure in the evenings. They had the opportunity to visit some of the most attractive landmarks in Brussels. For instance, they visited Grand Place, Maneken Pis, Sablon, Notre Dame du Sablon and the Petit Europe park.
With this new experience and knowledge in their professional portfolios, participants will be able to foster there leadership and communication skills, which will provide new opportunities for the disadvantaged all over Europe to participate in mobility projects. Through this training we are taking a step towards motivating and activating a key group of people who often struggle to engage with their networks or society.
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