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Event Review by David Mather & Jairo A Jaramillo
Event date: 12th February 2014
Venue: Southbank, London
Following discussions at the CIBSE Volunteers Day in 2013 it was decided that it would be of benefit to the Young Engineers Network (YEN) to receive training in chairing committees, running meetings and further developing their interpersonal skills. These ‘non-engineering’ skill sets are often not included as part of most young engineers’ academic learning or on-the-job training.
The sessions were open to the Chairs and Vice-Chairs of all of the YEN regions free of charge to both the attendee and their employer. The training aims to increase the effectiveness of each YEN Centre in delivering the YEN’s aims (About-Yen-London) both through more effective communication with existing and new members and through events organised throughout the year.
The training covered meeting etiquette for both the Chair and committee attendees and stressed the importance of preparation and focus. The relevance of this training is applicable not just to voluntary activity committees such as CIBSE YEN but also includes tips pertinent to real world project and even board level meetings.
After a break for lunch we worked on interpersonal skills. Good communication is very important and it is often your body language or general behaviour which can relay your emotion, rather than just verbal communication. Interactions in these environments should follow commonly agreed etiquette such as respecting others, driving adherence to an agreed schedule and good preparation beforehand. Committee member time, particularly in a voluntary organisation such as YEN, is very important, hence the importance that was placed on keeping discussions concise and on-topic.

In summary, Jairo and I would like to finish by thanking CIBSE for this fantastic opportunity to learn new skills which will be a benefit to YEN in the short term and our careers over the long term.  What came across very strongly was the faith and effort that CIBSE are placing in their YEN Chairs, Vice-Chairs and other active volunteers.  CIBSE President George Adams summed it up best by saying:  ‘You are the future of our organisation’.