Pushing and pulling until you break a person’s spirit does not make one a good leader. Rather the best leaders are those who are able to communicate kind, carefully chosen words to help each other.
This was the advice given by representative of the Pride of Barbados Optimist Club, Pearl Winkler, to the newly installed prefects of the St. Ambrose Primary School at their installation ceremony held this morning at the nearby St. Ambrose Church in Cypress Street, the City.
She told them that leadership was an honour and the best way to demonstrate their leadership was to practise good communication skills.
“All of you are privileged to have the right to, not to boss other people around, not to be rough but to be kind to be examples, to be nice, to be fair, to tell the truth and to really be there for your young friends and your peers. Don’t be rough; learn to speak with each other kindly. Always think about how someone else will feel. Even as adults we don’t know how we should act sometimes or what we should do in a situation but if you trust your conscience and you trust your heart, if somebody is saying something unkind to somebody else, if it hurts you chances are it may hurt somebody else,” she said.
“Remember in your role as prefects, communication is vital- self control is vital. As I sat this morning and I watched the younger ones looking up; some of you don’t know what your future holds, you don’t know what God has for you. Today for many of you this is your first leadership position- a position of responsibility. A position of standing out and smiling and being positive, wanting to make a difference for your peers, for those younger than you coming up.
“I am one hundred
per cent sure there are younger ones watching now who are aspiring to be prefects in the future, the way that you conduct yourselves as prefects this year is going to be true testimony of them wanting to be prefects in the future. If you are there
for them, if you support them, if you are kind to them they will all want to be prefects in the future so what you do during the course of this year has an implication for others watching you. It is a big responsibility but it is nothing that you cannot do- you can do it,” she further encouraged.
This year 17 students were selected for the role of prefects; among them were Head Girl, Faith Hinds and Head Boy Rickey Eli as well as Deputy Head Girl, Asama Joseph, and Ashaka Jordan who was the Deputy Head Boy.
Over the past weekend they participated in a “leadership session with the Pride of Barbados Optimists. They were taught how to use crocodile counts, it was a way of utilising numbers to practise patience to avoid getting angry and blowing up ultimately making a situation worst. This technique could help them to calm down and assess the situation before they act out. They were also taught other values which would serve them well into the future; among these was the ability to have the confidence to resist doing what was wrong and instead do the right thing.
Winkler reiterated to them that it was okay to stand up for the right thing.
“If someone wets or soils themselves, as prefects how are you going to handle that situation? Or you going to join with the rest of the crowd laughing and saying so and so is smelly? Or are you going to carefully take that child’s hand and lead them into the staff room where they can get help. Sometimes your friends may not like you but it is better to be not liked for doing the right thing than to be liked for doing the wrong thing. When you are faced with doing the right or wrong thing have the confidence to resist.
“Sometimes as prefects you will be angry, sometimes as prefects you will be frustrated because you may not know what to do [but] believe that you can be fantastic prefects this year and make fair decisions. As adults, as educators, as caregivers, as family we know at times we don’t always have that confidence to resist. As prefects it is a wonderful thing to understand how resisting will manifest it self in future blessings,” she said. (KC)