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Reflections - Leadership journey of a VIHE Volunteer

In life I always knew that I want to work for causes that concern me. But it is really difficult to take the path your heart wants to when there is no one to encourage. To me, VIHE directly and sometimes indirectly played the role of a Significant Adult, whose words mattered and they re-affirmed and reverberated my own thoughts. I got confidence in going out and living the experiences I would have otherwise surely missed.

VIHE, a purity drilling machine

I first joined Personality Development course in 2015 and I questioned myself about practicing the huge amount of information overload I had. VIHE presented me with an opportunity to volunteer and practice my learnings. I doubt if I’ve been able to practice 10% of it even today. But instead what I did there was little too interesting. I observed the faculty, staff and other volunteers being their best selves, and slowly their habits started influencing mine and I started practicing things like being confident, good communicator and utilize the opportunities we have.

Facing Challenging Times !

I worked for 2 years in Rajasthan and I missed home. In 2018, I had left a well-paying offer and a fast-growing industry of Engineers. When I took the decision to leave, VIHE reminded me of my potential to make choices. In 2020, when I returned, the pandemic had almost stopped life for many and for once, I doubted my decision of joining social work. However, with constant support from family, friends and fellowship team, I got placed within few months and have been working, since October 2020.

While a student, VIHE encouraged and helped me grow and make some very important choices in career. While at fellowship, I was encouraged by my entire team to try new things, was comforted when failed and supported in understanding my failure and get better at it the next time and get closer to the objectives. In my current job, I have a team and I want them to grow as well. I want my team and I grow, learn, fail and celebrate together.

Leadership Lessons !

I always relied on questions for reflection and now as a Coordinator I am running out of questions for myself which make me reflect upon my ability to lead, support and be there for my team. I needed some reminders of what leadership is before I frame a reflection questionnaire. And the leadership course was one of the ways I wanted to think about it.

Leadership course helped me make a set of questions for my reflection while I continue to learn every-day. Here is a simple reflection I could think of with my learnings from 3 days of leadership course I attended at VIHE. I ask myself, about these 5 categories

1. Vision/Goals: Are we all participating in the process of defining these goals, are we aligned to organization mission, do we all have a say when we feel dis-oriented? Also, do we respect each other’s reasons to pursue this common goal?

2. Communication: Is the communication non-violent, matter of fact-ly, two-ways and transparent among all team members?

3. Process: Does my team get the freedom to define their path to the above goals?

4. Capacity Building: Is my team able to identify challenges, give and seek help from each other and given ample opportunities for their professional growth?

5. Monitoring & Evaluation: Does my team feel trusted while we are in the process of evaluating our work? And in the end do they feel excited and prepared with learnings to start the next phase of work?

This is my beginning to start reflection on being supportive to my team. But I look forward to see what this journey unfolds for me. And I’ve been fortunate to have my fellow Volunteers, VIHE and fellowship family who have always given me the right questions to think about. VIHE always reminded me, “All that you seek – is in there, within you, waiting to be discovered by you!”

Shreya Sedani,

VIHE Volunteer &

State Education Coordinator at Rainbow Homes

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