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Learning to lead in South Asia

Two weeks ago, two editions of the Communication, Mentoring & E-learning workshop were conducted simultaneously in Dhaka, Bangladesh (21–24 November) and New Delhi, India (23–26 November) for CSISA hub teams and partner institutions from all four CSISA countries.

Mr. N. Satyanarayan, communication and professional development specialist from Syngenta, an international agri-business focused on research and technology, prepared and delivered an excellent two-day module on communication skills necessary for good extension workers. The module included components on personal values and beliefs, learning styles, audience profile analysis, meeting content planning, mind mapping, and group dynamics. Satyanarayan also prepared and delivered a discussion on mentoring, which was a new concept of personal and professional development for many participants.

The final day of the workshop was dedicated to e-learning; its patterns, advantages and limitations, and examples of online courses and webbased tools relevant to the work of extension specialists. This day was prepared by IRRI’s head of training, Noel Magor, and CIMMYT’s Petr Kosina.

For many participants with scientific and technical backgrounds, this was the first time they have participated in a course focused on soft-skills development. They expressed much interest and requested the continuation of such courses in the future. Participants appreciated the hard work of Ravi Kanth (CSISA training officer) and T. Anuradha (CSISA CKB coordinator).