AIDT training draws local business leaders

Published 2:28 pm Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Leaders in local businesses attended a two-day Alabama Industrial Development Training course this week, held at the Lurleen B. Wallace Community College Technology Center.

The training – Leadership Skills I – is designed as a human relations course for people in leadership roles, according to Kendall Haywood, instructor and Leadership Development Manager with the AIDT.

“A lot of people promoted into a leadership role don’t receive the type of training needed in dealing with people who will be working under them,” said Haywood. “The class also serves as a refresher course for anyone who’s been in a leadership role.”

Wednesday’s class focused on discrimination issues in the workplace. Going around the table, Haywood asked each attendee to write down words they thought of related to discrimination. Discrimination is usually thought of in relation to racism or prejudice against one person because of age, religion or gender.

But Haywood also put term in a different light.

She said young children picking teams for a pick-up basketball or football game also discriminate.

“The last child left for a team to pick was discriminated against,” Haywood said.

Haywood said it is a leader’s job to ensure fairness and equality in the workplace among employees.

She also said it is up to a leader to watch the words they use. Language one person may not find offensive, may be so for another person.

“As far as use of disparaging terms, it does not matter what my intentions were,” she said.

Team leaders from Hysco America, Key Safety Systems, REF Alabama Inc., Westpoint Home, Connector Manufacturing Company, and Manpower, Inc. attended the classes.