Posted on Mon, 2014-04-14 11:43
Monday 12th August, 2013
Day two of the mentor training programme commenced at 8.15am with breakfast, and most importantly of all, delicious khoja-style tea. The first session was a reflection session led by Brother Yasin and Shaykh Abbas. This session focused on reflecting on the previous day and required us to share one new insight that we had learnt about ourselves and how this will affect our role as a mentor.
The second session was a debrief of the Myer Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) exercise that we carried out the previous day with Shaykh Komail. In today’s session, Shaykh Abbas carried out some extremely exciting and engaging exercises that help us to understand types that were different to our own and how although we may be a different type to our fellow mentors, we still have to work together as a harmonious team. I found the second exercise the most exciting. In this one, we were put into two groups according to how we prefer to take in information. One group was the sensing (S) type and one was the intuition (N) type. As a group, we were asked to create a poster that advertised the Madinah and Bab summer courses to our own type. The poster could only contain three words and had to be created in 10 minutes. It was interesting to see that the S group’s poster was detailed and concentrated on all the different aspects that the course would cover in the three weeks. The N group’s poster only concentrated on one aspect of the course and this was the spiritual journey before, during and after the course.
This was followed by the third session which was led by Brother Yasin and was about Adult Learning. In this session we learnt about the difference between respect and tolerance. We learnt that when dealing with someone, we should separate the person from the behaviour. This would change tolerance into respect as we would be concentrating on the person as a whole rather than judging them only based on a certain behaviour that they have shown. This session took us till Zohr Salaat time which was followed by lunch and some time to relax.
At 3pm, we all reconvened and the afternoon session started off by an enlightening lecture by Shaykh Mohamed Khalfan. Shaykh Khalfan talked about a topic that was very relevant to us at this stage of the mentor training programme. He talked to us about mentoring from an Islamic perspective. He gave us an example of a mentor-mentee relationship from the Qur’an. This was from the story of Prophet Yusuf when he was in the prison and he was mentoring the people that were there with him. Shaykh Khalfan then gave us 8 qualities of a good mentor, two of which were maximum participation in all parts of the course and severe self-consciousness. He concluded his talk with 8 strategies for mentors that can secure support and encouragement. One of these was to grab any opportunity for an increase in spirituality with both hands. So, for example, going to the shrines as often as possible and including the mentees in this with you.
The final session for the day concentrated on developing two skills that we require as mentors when talking to our mentees. The first was active listening and the second was questioning. Both of these were taught in the form of different role-plays where mentors and facilitators took it in turns to be in a role play where one was a mentor and one was a mentee. We were given lots of different scenarios, some very tough, all that were similar to something that had come up in previous years in the course and we had to then role play these scenarios with each other. I thought that this was a brilliant way developing these skills as we could all help each other in coming up with the best way to deal with certain situations.
This long and intense day came to an end at 8.10pm after which we recited Maghribain Salaat followed by time for everyone to relax and re-energise for the third and final day of training tomorrow.
Written by: Ali Mehdi Moti from Birmingham, UK