Are you staying true to your path?
I had been asked to run a personal development workshop for a group of employees of the district council.
The employees worked in the frontline delivering a range of services to the local community – wardens, enforcement officers, care officers, housing estates and the like.
My style of working has always been ‘hands-on’ and experiential – delegates getting involved and participating, sharing views and ideas. I was looking forward to working with this group of 100 or so people.
I was quite new to working with district councils and had little experience of working with their frontline employees. I was more used to working with managers and leaders in organisations.
On the morning of the workshop, I travelled to the venue. I happened to get a call from a friend of mine who was an old hand when it came to training.
He asked me where I was going that day. I told him about the workshop and my plans.
He sucked in his breath and tutted. “I wouldn’t do it that way if I were you,” he said.“You will find it difficult to get any engagement. Council employees dislike that kind of group work and interactive stuff. They are uncomfortable sharing and talking to others in big group settings,” he continued.
“Mark, you will find it hard to get anyone to volunteer to give you feedback. What you need to do is be the ‘expert’ and tell them what’s what!” he continued.
I thanked him for his opinion and after chatting a bit more hung up the phone. I had a sinking feeling that the day was going to be a complete and utter failure.
But there wasn’t any time to change the format of the workshop. Besides, I didn’t feel comfortable just giving a lecture – it just wasn’t my style. Ah well, even though I might crash and burn today I consoled myself that at least it would be feedback for me and a learning experience.
The workshop went BRILLIANTLY! Of course, it took a while for people to warm-up. Quite rightly, I had to create a connection and a relationship with the audience (don’t you always?). But once I had a rapport with the delegates more and more people got involved in the exercises. True, some people preferred to observe but by the end even they were offering views and opinions.
Fate, circumstances, the Universe – call it what you want but by simply being refused the opportunity and time to change my workshop I stayed true to my path and it proved to be my greatest teacher and ally (thankfully).
Are you staying true to your path or do you find yourself changing with the wind?
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I’m passionate about inspiring people to tap into their unique talents and strengths – to be the best they can be – to fulfill the potential they always knew they had. It’s not about ‘fixing’ you. Rather, it’s about helping you access the best part of yourself so you’re able to make the changes, release the dragons and powerfully step into your brilliance.
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Mark Russell Inspired Performance Coaching – Dedicated to Your Success.