Leading a team through change is always a challenge. Leading a refugee and migrant community group through the current economic climate demands a high level of commitment, passion and razor sharp leadership skills. Emad Al-Hamadani Co-ordinator of the Hammersmith & Fulham Refugee Forum knew that its members had the former two attributes in abundance and he wanted to empower them with some new leadership tools. So, he invited Igniting Minds to design and deliver a half-day workshop introducing Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP).
It proved to be a very interesting and exciting day bringing together a group of people who were experiencing similar issues yet many had not met each other before. As always in times of change the participants faced uncertainty. Many had had their funding cut or were waiting to hear whether funding applications had been successful. They were the voice of their community and they wondered who would represent and advise their community if they had to close their organisation.
Rather than dwell on a potentially bleak future this group were up for learning new skills to help them breakthrough the new challenges. We had four hours to equip them with new techniques, skills and strategies to update their leadership toolbox.
As with all Igniting Minds training the workshop was highly experiential using creative visualization, mindfulness and movement, which for many of the participants was their first introduction to this type of work. We began by exploring their purpose, their reason for being in business. They then tapped into the passion that had enabled them to achieve against all odds and thought about what they wanted for their community group. Next they were led through a process in which they explored their outcome in each of the logical levels. This enabled them to build a strong vision for their organisation which they wrote up once they had returned to their seats.
We then created and anchored a good leadership state. The participants decided that this would be a state of confidence and determination. So we built a powerful state and anchored this as a strong resource that can be accessed at any time.
After this we explored our successful strategies – the ones that we use so effortlessly. One participant had a particularly successful strategy for dealing with people. So we elicited her strategy and then practiced using it ourselves in conversation with each other. It was interesting how she had generated a feeling from her heart centre and spun it out to the person she was communicating with. The general consensus was that this could be very effective in negotiating or leading a team.
And the question at the end of the workshop was “Why has no-one taught us this before?”
A lot to cram in to four hours and this is life changing stuff.
Since delivering the workshop Jacqueline Davis has worked with the Refugee Forum to review the business strategy and secure Big Assist funds for capacity building for the Forum and local refugee groups.
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