By Ivana Radic, Martina Graf
There is a saying in Serbia that says “one starts building a house from the basis”. It is the same with the 26th International Leadership Workshop for Rural Youth in Herrsching, Germany, both in the aspect of learning and the aspect of social networking.
In the first week we have been revising our previous knowledge, learning new methods, but most importantly bonding with each other, developing a new network, which will be a basis for future collaboration and cooperation. During the first week the participants coming from all over the world were divided in small groups, according to the language of preference.
The idea of clustering (which was often mentioned during the workshops of the first week in a methodological sense) worked well for strengthening the group, giving the opportunity to get comfortable with each other in smaller groups, and then embrace the diversity of a large community that we have become.
In the groups, intense emphasis was given to communication:
- Understanding and consideration of different perspectives
- Realizing that messages might include different aspects depending on the one spreading and the one receiving information
- Active listening (which seemed to be an extraordinary important achievement for some participants)
- Attention to differentiated perception
- Mediation of conflicts
- Convincing speech workshop
- Online presentation techniques : How to work with Prezzi ) ;
It was taken into consideration that communication between urban and rural youth, as well as between farmers needs to be strongly promoted in order to include young people in agriculture and motivate them to stay in rural areas.
Therefore adopting new communication skills and the willingness to implement them in one self’s realities is crucial and seen as a remarkable achievement in the workshop. Once we understand each other better, we start appreciating each other, we show respect, and we move forward!
A good example of best practice communication and a big effort of the organizers - hbdl-herrsching - is that every time a meeting is held in the plenary, all three workshop languages, German, French and English were provided by simultaneous translation. The language barrier therefore can be overcome if there is willingness for mutual understanding. If we understand each other, we can reach further!
Here in Herrsching, the will for understanding surely exists! It is a promising event that brings up a new network, a network of young professionals who are prepared for action with the mutual aim to change the world for better!
Pictures by YPARD Europe: Active listening and experience sharing outside and in the plenary.