Education officials get IT and leadership training

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Alaa Mohamed Saafan

Alaa Mohamed Saafan

Fifty top Education Ministry officials participated in a seminar on Wednesday to improve their information technology (IT) and leadership skills.

The Ministry of Interior’s National Information Center (NIC) organized the seminar with the multinational firm Global Knowledge at a local hotel. Jarallah Al-Ghamdi, the education ministry’s chief information officer, and Majid Hamzi, NIC’s manager, attended the event.

David Beckett, an international psychologist specializing in organizational behavior and skills, flew in from the United Kingdom to conduct the seminar on behalf of Global Knowledge.

“We held the seminar to strengthen the leadership skills of education officials and managers so that they can cope with the rapid change in technology,” said Alaa Mohamed Saafan, Global Knowledge country manager for Saudi Arabia.

He said new methods of assessing the personalities and leadership skills of officials were discussed.
“As global training specialists we focus on enhancing the skills of individuals. We presented new ideas and tools to make the trainees more effective at work and in handling people,” Saafan said.

He said discussions focused on various methodologies including the “Four I’s,” which stands for Idealized Influence, Inspirational Motivation, Individualized Consideration, and Intellectual Simulation.
There was also a talk on Knowledge, Attitude, Skills and Habit (KASH), the Green Zone that refers to positive attitudes, and the Red Zone, which is about negativism.

Idealized Influence is the role model for values and behaviors; Inspirational Motivation aims to motivate and inspire, and engenders enthusiasm, optimism and a good vision for the future; Individualized Consideration refers to the identification of individual needs, which involves coaching and mentoring for autonomy; and Intellectual Stimulation refers to innovation and new ideas to solve old problems, he said.

“There are instances when we need to enhance the skills of managers by focusing on their attitudes or habits more than their knowledge. In short, they may be knowledgeable but have attitude problems,” he said.

Saafan said the Green Zone refers to positive people. “They listen well, are responsible and accountable and seek solutions instead of blaming others. They also see disagreements as normal and talk calmly about difficult issues. Their mindset is performance,” he said.

People in the Red Zone are defensive and rigid. “They do not listen effectively and avoid responsibility and accountability. They also blame others and are threatened by other views. Moreover, they do not seek or value feedback, see disagreement as conflict and their mindset is survival,” Saafan said.

Saafan said the seminar was the first held for the education ministry and others are in the pipeline.
He said Global Knowledge has offices in the Saudi capital, Dammam, Cairo, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and other key cities. “It’s one of the top 20 IT companies worldwide,” he said.

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