By Ben Dowling
I recently spent the day helping to facilitate a day at Portsmouth College who kindly invited me along to work with the Head Boys, Head Girls, their deputies and School Council leaders from across the city.
The day was kicked off by Alison Curtis of Innervision Consulting. Alison took the young people through a really interesting session about how to get the best out of others and resolving conflicts. It is always nice to brush up on this as it is such an important skill. It’s amazing how the use of a few simple phrases and sentence structures can lead to the best outcomes.
The second session of the day was run by Sheryl Andrews from Step By Step Listening. Listening is a skill we all think we have and all think we use all time. This may be true to a certain extent but Sheryl really highlighted what it means to be a good listener and how everyone can benefit from listening just that little bit more.
For the final of the three main sections of the day, I worked with the young people around how they can best communicate their ideas with others and representing your peers. As a city councillor, it was really reinvigorating to see these young people being so enthusiastic about representation and how important it was to them. I took them through an exercise to get them thinking about their ideal representative and their worst-case-scenario representative. Of course there is no perfect one-size-fits-all solution to being a representative but it was helpful for everyone to scope out their ideas and to discuss different approaches.
All in all, it was a very productive day. As well as the young people getting a lot out of the day, I think it’s safe to say the same of myself, Alison and Sheryl.