I don’t care if we ran out of supplies yesterday evening, you are stupid to have waited until today to tell me. Get out of my office!

This statement and many others like it, shows the way Mr. John speaks and relates with his staff at the Primary Health Centre he oversees.

Academy for Health Development (AHEAD) seeks to improve health systems and health development through capacity building and knowledge generation and translation. To tackle workplace scenarios like the one painted above, we conducted a capacity-building workshop to improve the leadership and programme management skills of health professionals in Lagos, Oyo and Plateau states, on behalf of the AIDS Prevention Initiative in Nigeria (APIN). There was a total of 98 participants across the 3 states. Mr. John was one of them.

It was expected that by the end of the training, he and his colleagues would be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge of core leadership and programme management issues;
  • apply emotional intelligence and other key competencies in their daily work; and,
  • apply the leading and managing practices for improved work performance and better health outcomes.

The sessions were interactive and the methods innovative and skill-focused, with the application of various facilitative methods such as case studies and role plays. Facilitators were health leadership and programme management specialists and seasoned trainers.

In order to evaluate the impact of the training on Mr. John and his peers, evaluation was conducted through a mixture of approaches: pre-test – post-test methods, administration of daily evaluation forms and an end-of-workshop evaluation form. The median figures show that the participants rated the training as excellent in the areas of Course content, Quality of Instruction and Overall Satisfaction.

In response to how the workshop had motivated change in them, some of his colleagues had this to say:

  • The workshop inspired me to change in terms of communication as an effective leader. I can now delegate with confidence and give my subordinate full support”.
  • It has improved my knowledge of Conceptual skill and Emotional Intelligence which could be useful at work and everyday life”

Since returning to work, Mr. John has become a better boss. He still has occasional outbursts, but his subordinates report that his communication skills are better and they like how he manages the Health Centre now.