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NSCC International Leadership Forum – When I received the email from Katie asking if I would be interested in a leadership training at Nova Scotia Community College, I did not hesitate to say, ‘Yes’  to what I considered a golden opportunity to enhance my leadership skills and learn from leaders of other continents of the world. I must admit that I was a little sceptical about spending long hours in formal sessions, since I was feeling very tired from long hours of work, but I was totally wrong in my thinking. Claudine and her team including Bobby and Michelle prepared interactive sessions and spent quality time with us throughout the four days. Principals at the various Nova Scotia Colleges and their staff welcomed us and interacted with us throughout our stay. Coordination of the entire week’s training was super! Thanks to Katie and her team for organizing logistics for travel and accommodation to and within Nova Scotia.

What I liked most is that I got quality time away from the a regular work schedule to reflect on my strengths, share and learn from colleagues and professional facilitators from Nova Scotia Community Colleges who used a variety of interactive strategies to accomplish the goals of the training. I always focused on gradually improving on my weaknesses, but realized after the training, that I did not spend enough time getting better at what I do best. As a result, I struggled to stay on task with all I have to do at my organization and at times become frustrated, because I am always working, yet never complete all I aim at doing. The training really made me understand why it was most important to focus on improving on my strengths and made me reflect on the strengths of my team at the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment in southern Belize and how we can use those strengths to continue to build the organization! I was eager to return home to use some of the ‘open spaces’ we take for granted, to get conversations started among my work team. A few days after my return, I held a small group meeting in the field and it went really well. I intend to do a session on finding strengths of my work team at our upcoming staff meeting in September.

I also liked the idea of electronic badges which can be shared on social media. We spend lots of money printing certificates and awards that end up collecting dust on a book shelf. I intend to give electronic badges to individuals who are IT literate and believe that they will appreciate them much more than certificates.

Finally the learning cafe is a great idea to use to get conversations started on topics of interest. Lots of times we believe that we need to be in a formal setting to achieve an objective, but this training proved that we can achieve any objective in an informal setting and perhaps when we are in a relaxed setting, we are able to accomplish even more.

I thank the team at Nova Scotia Community College for this wonderful opportunity! I am very impressed with the staff members I met who are passionate about education.  I have already spoken with the Assistant Provost at the University who is interested establishing contact with staff of Nova Scotia Community Colleges. We have so much to learn from you all and I volunteer to be a link between you and educational institutions in my country!

 I look forward to hosting another group of Nova Scotia students in Belize.

Celia Mahung

Executive Director

Toeldo Institute for Development and Environment



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