During this year, six ‘Communication with Difficult Parties’ trainings, attended by 71 participants, were implemented within the ‘Novi Sad – City of Kindness’ project.
The idea of the ‘Novi Sad – City of Kindness’ project is to educate employees on posts related to providing service to citizens, who will become promoters of kindness (cultural workers, tourism, caterers, taxi drivers, counter clerks, public transport drivers, etc.) set new standards of culture of communication in Novi Sad, the future European Capital of Culture.
The first two trainings were implemented during January and February in Egység and Svilara, lasting 12 teaching hours for a total of 31 participants – employees of the City Administration for General Affairs who directly provide services to citizens in the banking hall of the City of Novi Sad, as well as registrars, clerks in offices and local communities, archivists, advisors and managers in that administration. Due to the epidemiological situation, four planned trainings were implemented in the form of webinars on the Zoom platform during November for 40 participants (employees in cultural institutions), who were divided into groups.
The online training included pre-activities, a three-hour webinar on ‘Communication with Difficult Parties’ and post-activities. The pre-activities included handing the working material to the participants, and after the webinar, the participants had the task to practice the proposed techniques in their environment and on their own examples, as well as the opportunity to consult with the lecturer for another seven days.
According to the evaluation, the participants expressed satisfaction with the webinar – in 92% of cases the expectations were met in full or to a large extent, and in 8% (two participants) partially. The organization (4,96) and the quality of the lecturers (4,92) were evaluated with an excellent grade, and the participants rated their knowledge after the webinar on the given topic as excellent (4,54), which is more than the self-assessed knowledge before the webinar (3,5). The participants were especially satisfied with the way of presentation, concrete examples and simplicity of techniques. Descriptive assessments showed many commendable impressions, but also valuable suggestions and proposals.
At the classic trainings, the participants estimated that they improved their knowledge by 1,35, and at the webinar by 1,04 grades. The evaluation shows that the assessments and comments from the classic training contained much more enthusiasm, emotion and gratitude, but that the webinars replaced the classic training at a satisfactory level and that individual correspondence and additional exchange of materials after the webinar and the manual webinar participants, to a good extent lead to the fulfillment of project goals in this way.
The ‘Novi Sad – City of Kindness’ project is implemented by ‘Zona Ljubaznosti’ association and in cooperation with the ‘Dr Lazar Vrkatić’ Faculty of Legal and Business Studies with the support of the ‘Novi Sad 2021 – European Capital of Culture’ project.