18 technical leaders from across Asia were challenged to develop their understanding of pressure, stress and anxiety during the latest FIFA Technical Leadership Development Seminar in the Philippines between November 7-9.
Participants from Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand and Qatar, amongst others, were tasked with presenting a 100-day plan to a member association board, handling a number of crisis issues in a press conference and communicating a SWOT analysis presentation to a new team of technical staff.
The purpose of the activities was to help the technical leaders learn more about influencing ‘up, across and down’ whilst also exploring modern leadership approaches.
“The presentations were designed to become increasingly more demanding and put the participants under considerable pressure,” said FIFA Head of Technical Leadership Jamie Houchen, who led the workshop in Manila.
“We wanted to create a number of situations where the participants could monitor the natural anxieties and nervousness experienced when presenting. By the end of the course we wanted the participants to be much more confident in embracing those feelings in order to convey, influence and persuade when communicating.
A variety of learning methods were used throughout the three-day workshop, with a strong emphasis on interactive and reality-based workshops.
“I loved the peer-to-peer discussion as you could hear different point of views,” said Thailand FA technical director, Carles Romagosa. “On the course you are discussing with your peers about how they face similar issues to you. It can help you to get some really brilliant ideas and different processes for a project.
Romagosa went on to praise the openness and exchange of ideas between all those in attendance. “There has been really good input on the different strategies that technical directors are using to develop football in their country. It has been really interesting to exchange ideas with them and discuss approaches.”
Technical Director of the Mongolian Football Association, Buman-Uchral Bold, highlighted the work on effective communication and influencing as a highlight of the event. “The three days have been very helpful in terms of developing my leadership skills,” said Bold. “The work done on persuading and influencing will help me work with my team of staff much better. I have taken away the idea of communicating the benefits of taking a certain decision. There has been a lot of learning during the course.”
President of the Philippine Football Federation and FIFA council member, Mariano Araneta, joined the workshop to talk with participants and paid tribute to the work done by technical leaders across the Asian region.
“The technical department is a very important department for any association,” explained Araneta. “In the Philippines we call it ‘the engine room’, because without people in the technical department, nothing would happen. We have been honoured to host the FIFA course here in Manila and we hope this leadership seminar will help all the leaders of the different countries to develop further.”
Technical Director of the Philippine Football Federation, Stewart Hall, added: “many football events go unrecognised in the Philippines. The more attention we can bring to football through hosting courses like this will help us to put the Philippines on the football map. Hosting the FIFA technical leadership seminar had been really good for us.”