Today I had a lovely tweet from Jean Crew about the tweets I share and it really gave me a boost. Sometimes, I do wonder why I bother to write blogs, share updates on LinkedIn and tweet about what I am doing/thinking. Sometimes what I share, barely seems to get noticed and it starts to become a numbers game.
So this got me thinking about encouragement and feedback (again) and how important it is. As trainers/facilitators, when we take people through any sort of change whether it is time management, leadership, conflict management, how do we make sure that the changes in their behaviours are long-lasting? How do we make sure their rockets have enough fuel to keep them going along the trajectory they have started on?
Here are some of my thoughts :
- Before the workshop, ensure their line managers know what they will be learning about and have agreed some objectives with the learners
- In the workshop, give praise where it is due, in a genuine way
- Get them to give each other feedback – give them a model that works
- Post- workshop encourage the line managers to reinforce the good behaviour and any changes that they see
It sounds so simple….. and yet….. do we always give our learners enough fuel for their rockets?
Today I have been contemplating my journey in the last few years….. a young trainer emailed me asking for advice and as a non-directive coach, that is quite a hard thing to do! It did of course make me reflect and think about the nuggets I could share with this enthusiastic, young woman.
To add further to my reflections, I had lunch with Sharon Young, Director of Pearlcatchers a few weeks ago. Sharon and I first met while doing a coaching qualification a number of years ago. She asked me if I would come to the World of Learning and do a demo session for her in the Experiential Learning Zone. With sheer terror in my voice, I said “yes”…… and did it anyway.
During lunch I was telling Sharon “I am not the brave entrepreneurial type, I get so scared about doing new things that take me out of my comfort zone.” to which she corrected me by saying “…but you do them anyway“.
So I have learned that I am brave…… that I do get really scared……..but I do it anyway……and this is not in the way of a boast, but hopefully as an encouragement to anyone who gets scared and thinks that they are the only one.
So back to the young woman and the advice…..this is what I wrote to her…
- Do what you love(are passionate about) as often as you can
- Learn from mistakes – reflect and change so as not to repeat them
- Seek feedback regularly – never comment or justify, just listen and absorb, then decide what to do with it
- If you get a bad feeling about taking on work – go with your instincts
- Have a rough plan – it can always be changed!
- Meet up with enthusiastic people often – if you are with negative people don’t get sucked in
The last one is really important and some of you may have got this far and thought “where does the fire and the rain shower come in?”. Passion is often described as a flame and if you are the only ember, it is difficult to get the fire going. Those people who are “mood hoovers” will deplete you and shower your enthusiasm with an unwelcome rain. I am not saying to avoid them, but don’t get sucked in.
There are people in my life who fan those flames and when I am with them, they make me brave…… at the risk of offending some…. here are some who have helped me to be brave…..
- Margaret Parkin, well known storyteller – for asking me to work with her many years ago….. such an honour….
- Sharon Young, of Pearlcatchers … for asking me to demo for her at the World of Learning 5 years ago
- Chris Lazenby who bought a copy of my book “50 ways to accelerate learning” before I had even written it
- Andy Pearce, Director of Illuminate Development who simply loves the Learning Loop so much, he came down to Olympia to tell our prospective clients about it
- Karen Foundling, friend, fellow walker, creative coach, associate and great encourager, with a great talent
- Gareth Gadd, my husband of 32 years….. who puts up with me…helps me and …… still makes me laugh
So my last piece of advice to anyone, would be to find those people who will fan those flames and make it known to them how essential they are to you. Thanks to all of the above!