The following article was submitted by the Newly Professed Sisters and Sr. Marianne Puthoor in Mokama on May 19, 2013.
“It was a joy for, we, the nine Newly Professed to participate in the six days program on COMMUNICATION-LEADERSHIP & PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT because of Sr. Marianne, our Resource Person. It was our last course before we set out on our First Mission and one of the unforgettable learning for life. We started with expectation sharing as well as our experience during the past two months. Little did we know that Sister Marianne was assessing our skills in commutation, Leadership and our level of Self Esteem.
Each morning Sr. Marianne led us in Yoga, Pranayam and Shanti Yagya Meditation which set the tone for the whole day, filling us with positive energy spiritual and mental alertness. In the course on Communication, we feel finally we learned what it means to Listen, what it involves and how to check the message with the person for accuracy before we go and communicate it. Various exercises, sharing in twos, and the valuable input by Sr. Marianne gave us insight into some of the barriers including fear of authority, in being effective communicators. Daily News Reporting being aware of the non-verbal messages of the speaker and many tips and opportunities greatly improved our Skills in Communication.
The course on Leadership began with sharing of our personal experience of good leaders. We learned that ‘Leadership is not so much about ‘what one does’ but the way one inspires and encourages the group to accomplish the mission at hand .We felt drawn to develop Transformative Leadership skills as well as Servant Leadership qualities as they have very little to do with positions or roles one is assigned, instead the leader is focused on the positive change in the group/system/project putting the interest of the group before self.
We learned that a leader must have a vision and it must be communicated to the group. We are happy to know that Leadership is the art of influencing others by being a role model. Leaders are to ‘Walk the talk’. Only then there will be credibility. The creative way of presentation and our active participation, not just listening to lectures, made the learning so interesting and we hardly knew how the time flew.
The course on Personality Development was an eye opening for most of us though we had learned about Johari Window and what not during our formation.
During this program we had guided personal reflection and in put on the key factors of Personality Development and various activities to assess our level of Self Esteem. We were glad to know that we can learn proper ways of reacting, responding and interacting in any given situation which enhance our personality. To become aware of our personalities we had group sharing, personal reflection and various hand outs to identify our selves: ‘who am I? and how much I value myself’.
We drew symbols of ourselves and even expressed it in poetry bringing out the creative side of ourselves. Sr. Marianne made sure that we had out door game which relaxed and refreshed us. We had fun time as well as group sharing. Inspiring quotes were shared and reflected upon daily which shed light on each of the topic. At the end of each day we had time to evaluate how our day was and we shared it with all during our evening prayer.
We are grateful to God, to Sr. Jane and all who are responsible for arranging for this one week program where we felt well prepared for our mission, enriched with practicals, relaxed and it was an integration of all that we learned especially during the past two months. We are eternally thankful to Sr. Marianne who developed in us an Attitude of Gratitude, besides energizing and inspiring us with her personal sharing and being a role model for us.