The CDSF regional office in Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR) conducted leadership training for regional and zonal leaders and managers in Shashemene from February 8 to 9, 2019.
Thirty-two leaders and managers (28 men and 4 women) participated in the two-day training. The participants included: zonal and special woredas chief administrators, zonal Agriculture and Natural Resource Department heads, regional sector bureau heads and deputy heads.
The training was designed to support regional and zonal administrators and agricultural sector heads to become more effective leaders and managers, and more committed to the vision and importance of AGP. Many of these individuals are new to their positions and never had the opportunity to participate in an experiential-based leadership training before.
Competencies covered during the training included: learning about a specific leadership model called “situational leadership”; understanding unconscious bias as it impacts women and leadership; human motivation theories with a focus on Hertzberg’s duality theory of motivation; how to provide effective rewards and recognition to staff in ways that will promote motivation and commitment; and with a focus on self-leadership, understanding the importance of one’s emotional intelligence as it contributes to high-quality leadership.
Sacha Innes, AGP2 CDSF Project Director, and Leadership and Capacity Development Consultant, and Meskerem Mulatu, AGP2 CDSF Gender and Leadership Specialist co-facilitated the training.
During the training, participants conducted self-assessments on their leadership styles and discussed the value of understanding the “readiness” levels of their direct reports, or “followers” as essential to providing more tailored support to different staff, based on the situation. They appreciated that leaders need to direct, coach, facilitate, or delegate, depending on their relationship with their followers and the tasks to be carried. Leaders need to focus on promoting women to roles of more responsibility and providing opportunities for them to be mentored, trained, and network with other women and men leaders.
Leaders were introduced to a model of emotional intelligence that assesses behaviors such as empathy, interpersonal relationships, and stress management, key competencies that contribute to effective leadership. Participants assessed their emotional intelligence (EQ) and identified their strengths and areas for potential development. At the end of the training, participants prepared action plans that will guide their efforts to improve their leadership practices back in their offices, and with the support of CDSF.
Head of SNNPR Bureau of Agriculture and Natural Resources Development, Ato Tilahun Kebede, appreciated CDSF’s efforts in providing quality capacity development support to AGP2 in different thematic areas.
Ato Tilahun said: ”We have observed that encouraging results have been achieved in areas where the leadership closely supervise and coordinate the AGP program. This shows that the performance level of AGP2 can be directly affected by the performance of the leadership. This training is very useful as it is organized to help the leadership to be visionary, results-oriented, ensure accountability and realize the program development objectives of AGP2.”
The post-training assessment and evaluation of the event showed high participant satisfaction, but also, emphasized that enhanced knowledge and skills’ competencies were required to achieve AGP2 objectives. Recognizing that training alone does not always lead to changes in performance, CDSF staff and specialists will provide refreshers and coaching to those leaders interested in receiving additional support. This job-embedded support (JES) will be available, starting immediately following the training and, women leaders are encouraged to take advantage of the JES.
Note: Five of the participants in this training program are emerging master facilitators who are part of the CDSF Master Facilitator Development Program (MFDP), and will be responsible for rolling out the program to woreda leaders on behalf of AGP2.