The Czech Prison Academy organizes a series of English webinars open to foreign prison professionals. The primary objective is to create an environment where practitioners can practice and improve their English skills. The main strategies include having conversations and listening to an expert and to other participants from different countries. To make the project meaningful, each webinar is focused on a specific topic covered by a highly qualified expert. The webinars are not tightly linked to each other, which makes it possible for those interested to choose the webinar(s) they want to apply for.
In order to make the programme effective, the total number of participants in each webinar is limited to 12 applicants.
Each module contains a preparatory phase, during which the selected participants are asked to fulfil a set of tasks; a webinar; and follow-up activities. A full module can take about two months.
The second webinar is going to be organized in June 2021. The expert facilitating the module is Rüdiger Wohlgemuth, an experienced prison director from Lower Saxony. He is going to focus on prison leadership as the main topic.
To get more information, please, contact Iva Prudlova firstname.lastname@example.org
You are invited to read the feedback shared by the participants, the facilitator and the observer of the first webinar held on 3rd March 2021.
Notes by Dan Halchin, Romania
Dan Halchin was the facilitator of the first webinar. He was asked to write his feedback:
It was a unique and a great experience to deliver the leadership webinar, with an audience eager to find out as much as possible on the topic. The distinction between leadership and management mentioned in the beginning of the webinar was well appreciated. Emphasizing that leadership has in its center the PEOPLE, real human beings with feelings, fears and expectations, in contrast to management which deals with soulless entities called OBJECTIVES, was acknowledged by everyone. Further, the attendees’ interest was focused on finding the less obvious reasons on what works in leading people through time of crisis. Pertinent questions were raised about what might be important in the times of pandemic situation we are facing now. The case study presented in the second part of the seminar was also of great interest. Working single or in small groups, the attendees shared their opinion on the imaginative prison director´s character and his leadership skills.
As an overall personal opinion, the training module was a success, as the opinions exchange was not constrained by formalism, and the interest in the topic was genuine. Not many suggestions for improvement can be done, except maybe planning for additional time to cover all the questions anyone might have. Great appreciation to the Czech Prison Service Academy for making the seminar possible, especially to Capt. Iva Prudlová whose tenacity incapacitating the interest and the resources brought the necessary energy to this success.
Notes by Rüdiger Wohlgemuth, Lower Saxony
An experienced prison director Rüdiger Wohlgemuth is going to be the facilitator of the second webinar. He was taking the role of an observer during the first webinar. He shares his feedback with the readers.
The experience with the first webinar has shown that the participants, the lecturer, and the guests could communicate properly and explain their positions, experiences, and views. Even if some expressions might not be according to English grammar, everybody seemed to understand and able to make his/her point. Moreover, training progress happens while we speak and listen together. It makes me somehow happy to speak with competent colleagues in a foreign language.
Our Romanian colleague Dan Halchin clarified the four things leadership is all about right from the start: Provide a feeling of safety; Speak in a constructive manner; Inspire people to treat their work as an art; Deal with everyday conflicts. Each of the participants agreed to these attitudes and described their experiences with them. The following seminars should allow each participant to explain in more detail how he or she can best combine these virtues with the characteristics of his or her personality and spread them in the staffs
Leadership grows with the internalization of attitudes in harmony with the culture of the institution. This growth process requires a self-critical reflection. Each participant should write down their efforts, successes, and mistakes. The reports should be the material for a professional individual or joint-supervision.