Guest Blogger Sumaiya talks about her experience working with Mind Mechanics — a Soft Skills building platform for the youth!

I believe that helping my own team members of Mind Mechanics is highly important as it can more effectively meet the needs of our target groups based on their feedback and our assessment. I conducted a workshop for my own team of amazingly talented people very recently! Very excited to post the experience of one of my Associates — Sumaiya Jamil Fareah about this session, who is my guest blogger for today!

Mind Mechanics is an initiative of Build Better Bangladesh (B-CUBE) Foundation that started its journey in 2013 to educate youth with Soft Skills to be successful and work as change-makers in various aspects of life. You can learn more about it and its activities from our facebook page.
Sumaiya Jamil Fareah— an Associate of Mind Mechanics

This was our first internal workshop as members of the Mind Mechanics team. We knew not to expect anything usual when Imran (our Executive Director and Lead Facilitator) had mentioned associate workshop and such was the case when we reached EMK Center,our ever so generous venue partner located near the heart of Dhanmondi. We had all gathered ready for activity, prepared to brainstorm on how to make our sessions even better . We had kept tabs on our participants evaluation and aimed to be working on those. However, Imran had other plans in mind, we’d be getting back to those forms later as he had mentioned. But first, we had something more important to do, we had to lay down our observations on the workshop as a team and work on to being as good as we could be according to ourselves! But interestingly he gathered us all and handed us sticky notes and gave us a time limit and a target to put out all our ideas of just how BAD a session can go. That’s right, we began brainstorming on everything that could possibly go wrong.

Our group of 9 present associates each came up with our ideas and posted them in a roll of paper at the end of the timeline. Then Imran asked us to sort the points out and group them as per themes. As soon as we’re done, on a fresh roll of paper the themes went up along with stressing subtopics that could be of significance to the workshops we conduct. As I had expected, it was now time for voting on the themes and sorting them in terms of priority, the one most needing focus, to the least. We had rated each theme and subtopic lying in it on a scale of 0-5, 5 being the worst, and thankfully, not any theme went above the rating of 2.7 as per our highly talented and diverse team, which I’d say is a pretty good result. But the fun part was, when I’d asked Imran for his ratings, he gave me a quite sarcastically serious answer, “4.5 in all” he said. I was a little taken aback , but not surprised. I’d known his passion for growth of the team and his vision of just how much we could all do. I was alarmed and appreciative all together.

However, after our rating we’d come down to our list of priority of themes 1–6 each of which we’d be focusing on improving in which ever way required. We had decided upon taking the largest theme and working upon it solely on our next associate workshop. And focusing on the next two topics on that very day. We had formed groups of 4 and started working on a theme. Each group was identifying the areas we should work on in response to the various feedback and demands of our participants in the workshops of Mind Mechanics. We were also trying to be as much creative as possible to do so. One thing that this brought out, was the fact that our team members would get the opportunity to develop some of their own skills in different areas, which we hadn’t even come to realize until then. So each team made their presentation and took feedback and have already started to work on fixing those issues, and taking the necessary steps.

All in all, I had an amazing time in this interactive workshop, it proved to be much more effective than I thought it could be and I’ve come to see and realize how important “intra-group” discussions are and the significant affect it can hold on team efficiency. I’d practiced this method of approach however under the mentor, Robert Gradoville from ideo, in a week long workshop I’d taken recently by the name of Social Innovation Design Week (SIDW2017), which allowed me to realize that the processes we’re applying here in mind mechanics is globally accepted and trained. Which makes me even more happy about being able to work along Mind Mechanics and thereby witnessing an evolution as well as experiencing it. Looking forward to more adventures, experiences and life lessons along with Mind Mechanics and getting back and telling you all about it. Till then. Adios.