Between January 14th and January 19th 2024, the scenic and serene landscapes of Switzerland served as the backdrop for an immersive leadership training event. A delegation of esteemed school leaders from the University of Business and Technology (UBT) in Saudi Arabia embarked on a transformative journey, meticulously organized by the American Institute of Applied Sciences in Switzerland (AUS). The venue for this prestigious event was the luxurious Le Mirador Resort & Spa, a location renowned for its breathtaking panoramic views and tranquil ambiance, perfect for contemplation and learning.
The AUS Dean of Academics, Dr. Gaidi Faraj, extended a warm welcome to the delegation upon their arrival. The training program provided a valuable opportunity for the university leaders from UBT to gain knowledge and practical insights into crisis management and effective leadership, while also experiencing the rich cultural and educational heritage of Switzerland. According to Dr. Faraj, "We were honored to host this esteemed group of leaders from UBT and share principles and best practices in education leadership and cross-cultural communication."
The group attended workshops on crisis communication in educational settings, strategies for leading in multicultural environments, and principles of effective communication.
Max Behesht, the visionary behind the "Servicizer™ Mindset", steered the participants through the Three Pillars of Educational Hospitality, emphasizing the art of engagement, excellence, and performance.
The crisis communication workshop focused on preparing educators to respond quickly and accurately to crises, showing concern for those affected, and controlling the narrative through consistent messaging. "Effective crisis response during the first hour is critical for reputation," said workshop presenter Dr. Laura Zizka.
In the multicultural leadership session, Dr. Sowon Kim engaged participants in examining their own cultural assumptions when interacting across cultures. "Be curious, humble, and ready to 'unlearn' the way you perceive the world," Kim advised.
The UBT delegation also learned the "seven principles of communication" to connect with their audiences, increase influence, inspire action, and get results. "Great communicators care more about connecting with their audience, than impressing them," said presenter Naggib Chakhane.
In addition to the workshops, the delegation had the opportunity to visit the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) and the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Lausanne, providing them with insights into the academic and research environments of these prestigious institutions. Furthermore, the group enjoyed outings around the Swiss Riviera, Gstaad, Geneva, and Lausanne, allowing them to experience the cultural and scenic attractions of Switzerland.
At the conclusion of the training, the participants were awarded certificates by the AUS President, Dr. Mohamad El Khansa, in recognition of their successful completion of the program. This leadership training was not just an event; it was a journey of transformation. The fusion of world-class education, cultural immersion, and introspective leadership workshops provided the UBT delegation with a holistic experience, ensuring that they returned not just as more effective leaders, but as visionaries ready to shape the future.