Patient, faithful and willing to learn
Every new challenge can translate into a learning experience, which helps Natalia Simon gain deeper knowledge of my profession.
Simon has never allowed the challenges in her life to determine who she will be and what she will achieve.
She was born and raised in the north at Ompundja village in the Oshana Region.
After completing grade 10, she attended Gabriel Taapopi Senior Secondary School.
In grade 12 she had the dream of becoming a teacher, but her sister’s career influenced her career path.
She was inspired by her sister, who is a nurse and was always so content with her profession, which deals with human healthcare on a daily basis.
She registered as a student nurse and graduated with her professional nursing qualification at the University of Namibia (Unam).
Simon is fortunate to work in a unique health-related environment at the Namibian Blood Transfusion Service (NamBTS) as a training and development supervisor.
Her primary responsibility is the general orientation and training of newly appointed personnel in their division, identifying staff training and development needs, planning, organising, conducting the appropriate training and helping with the ongoing and long-term improvement of employee skills.
A year that really stood out for Simon was 2018, because she had a high proportion of new staff, but with the assistance of her team, their preparation and training went very well.
“Trainers are not born, they are made. A trainer who wants to remain on top of their game, needs to keep abreast of the latest developments in their field. A passion for learning will make this less of a chore and more of a spirited endeavour,” Simon said.
“Growing as a team leader and mentoring and coaching became an interesting daily challenge for me. I had to ask myself: Do I know what I need to know and will I be able to mentor and coach others? The best is to realise that if you are given the opportunity, it means there is potential that one might not always see.”
Tracking the application of skills and the sustainability of training programmes was a learning curve for Simon, as one needs to ensure that skills are learned and applied correctly.
“For the training and development of employees it is crucial that if staff are not productive, one always questions the training to see where you can change and adapt,” she said.
Simon emphasised the importance of communication throughout personnel training. “With all the challenges of training, I believe that strong communication and interpersonal skills are imperative for a good trainer. Understanding training needs, conveying ideas and conducting training are all conveyed through words. Words are a great asset, but this means nothing if it’s not tempered with empathy, rooted in an understanding how people learn and backed by good interpersonal skills.”
Simon loves critical and reflective conversations that can improve the ongoing development in her profession and regards the sparrow as her spirit animal.
“We possess similar behavioural traits, which include teamwork and hard work, which make the sparrow so productive.”
Simon believes that challenges are not meant to last forever and are there to provide individuals with the opportunity to improve.
“With the coaching from my supervisor, struggles became a story of the past. It’s a joy to see that my colleagues are productive with skills that were imparted by me. It’s motivating to see the best performance from staff. I always use the words ‘that’s my people’ for self-motivation and teamwork.”
Photo 1: Natalia Simons is the training and development supervisor at NamBTS.
Photo 2: Natalia Simon loves critical and reflective conversations that can improve the ongoing development of her profession.
Photo 3: Natalia Simon is passionate about her work and the difference she makes.
Photo 4: Natalia Simon uses challenges in life to fuel her every day.
Photo 5: Natalia Simon is dedicated, hardworking and passionate about her career.
PHOTOS MARISELLE STOFBERG