On October 27, Viscar Industrial Capacity held a leadership and networking forum for engineers. The theme of the forum was ‘ Transforming engineers for optimal performance’. Engineers take up different leadership roles that led to the training, resourcing and consultancy firm invite engineers and non-engineers for the interactive session.
Topics such as building emotional intelligence, engineer’s professional success and re-engineering change- a leadership perspective were the overall discussions of the event.
The first speaker was Head of Human Resource, Safal Group, Mr. Stephen Olieka, who gave a wide presentation on how to build and train on new ways of thinking. He began by defining emotional intelligence as ‘something in each one of us and the ability to understand and mange own emotions.’
“There are a few benefits of building a strong emotional intelligence like, one is able to build a strong personal relationship, increase optimism and confidence, and attain greater success,” remarked Olieka.
He went ahead to state that engineers should be in a position to create a dictionary and be in a position to describe themselves. Another important fact that he said is ‘”Emotional Intelligence can be learned through research, awareness programs to help people continually improve.”
Eng. Catherine Nyambala, Director STEM Africa and Chief Engineer at KenGen remarked that for engineers to be on top, they need to improve their credentials by participating in engineering activities like annual IEK conferences, IEEE activities and contribution of articles in the dailies.
“Engineers need to learn how to invest in their career by engaging in a lot of reading. Invest in careers by building on it, observed Nyambala. She encouraged that engineers should buy a technical book in their area of expertise or start a paid-up or free learning online course that’s consistent with you.
Other than that, Nyambala pointed out that engineers need to accept to learn from other people, expose themselves to networking with people in area of expertise and have a digital presence where one can build social and professional skills.
African Development Bank, Certified Coach and Trainer, Mr. Otlesh Thobias gave a good session on re-engineering change. “Engineers need to be ready for change, monitor and adapt quickly to change,” said Thobias in his brief presentation.
Eng. David Mulongo, CEO of Viscar Capacity said that there is need to create an ecosystem that transforms engineers so that they can become skilled at the business perspective on how to manage costs and assets or projects.
“Engineering is all around us but people take it for granted like air, Mulongo quoted.
He raised a question among the audience and asked “how can an engineer(s) be inspired to grow and perform optimally? He gave three remarkable points to answer this.
“For optimal performance, there is need for a regulatory or institutional intervention. This includes being associated with registered bodies like IEK, EBK, IEEE, or international bodies that fit improvement of one’s qualifications, Mulongo added.
Mulongo viewed that organisation intervention can assist engineers to be innovative. He commented that organizations need to elevate engineering departments to a level of visibility as well as create room for experimentation and discovery. This aids greatly in recognizing engineering as a discipline.
Besides, engineers need to be equipped with the right tools for better performance. “An engineer(s) can’t be left to work only in the office they need to be exposed to things around them like forums, networking events and conferences,” insisted Mulongo.
Lastly, he said that engineers shouldn’t be stagnant after gaining adequate professional experience. He advised that it is good to engage in Continuous Professional Development as one continually grows.