07-08 March 2019, Geneva, Switzerland- Leadership is fundamental to effective and efficient diplomacy. The success of international leaders relies upon their capacities to take initiative, lead others in and through challenging circumstances, and thus maximize opportunities and strengthen the positions, objectives and achievements of parties and groups. In this regard, a workshop on Leadership Skills, which is part of the Executive Diploma in Diplomatic Practice, was organized by UNITAR’s Division for Multilateral Diplomacy.

The two-day workshop acquainted 18 participants with the topic at hand and enhanced their understanding of the definition of leadership and the qualities of a strong leader, the differing styles of leadership to different cultural context and scenarios. The workshop highlighted the importance of effective communication skills, techniques and strategies to practise strong leadership in times of crisis and decision making. The training was delivered by Ms. Nicole Smart, who is an internationally experienced Corporate Trainer for Management and Leadership Development (Executive Educator); Certified Executive Coach through Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centered Coaching (California, USA) and Accredited Neuro Linguistic Programming Practitioner (Dubai, UAE), as part of her extensive qualifications. Her degree in Communication Science incorporated various elements of organisational and social psychology, as well as International Communication and Inter-cultural Organisational Communication Science, among others.

Ms. Smart emphasized on the power of perception, human psychology, emotional intelligence and self-awareness in enhancing self-development and relationships with people in our professional and personal lives. She further emphasized the importance of learning effective verbal communication using re-enforcing language and how people respond or repel against energy in context to non-verbal communication. All participants were given a leadership style questionnaire to give them an idea of what leadership styles they possess and a VAK (Visual, Auditory & Kinaesthetic) learning style questionnaire to determine their dominant learning style. Importantly, participants became familiar with power posing or their selective behaviours to induce positive hormonal and behavioural changes.

By the end of the workshop, the participants were able to be more conscious of their own behaviour and how that affects the response in others. They further learnt to develop a vision board of personal objectives for self-improvement. The participants were satisfied with their experience, as 92% of them felt that they met the course objectives and 94% of them agreeing that their awareness about the subject has increased. Benefits from the briefing were confirmed by post-training self-evaluations.

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