Learning curves, no steep steps




“My first manager told me he didn’t want me to be me”
In this coaching programme, a diagnostic was used to determine strengths from which actions could be taken for greater success. The results revealed qualities quite opposite to shown behaviours from this person. He revealed that many years earlier he had been told to ‘not be you’ and to ‘kick a*s’. As a result this supervisor had been fearful for his job and vastly compromising his true abilities. He was able to change all this and feel truer to himself.
“It all comes down to love”
On this management development programme one senior manager pulled together a range of his learning points and new approaches to management. He noted ‘I need to love my unique talents; love my job; notice things I love and appreciate about my colleagues and teams as well as our customers.
“I’ve got 7,000 emails in my inbox”
This busy manager was feeling completely overwhelmed by the incessant stream of work coming his way. His response of doing long hours in order to cope was compromising his clarity of thought, ability to think laterally and therefore his efficiencies. After an afternoon of ruthlessly blitzing the build up of emails, he developed a new plan around his daily routines that would stimulate his best energies as well as some commitments to rest and to clearing his mind so that when he was at work he was getting more done and achieving more.
“Not the usual sh*te”
This team of front line staff were cynical about training. They had experiences of ‘death by powerpoint’ and being ‘talked at’. This interactive day programme that took their opinions into the content and generated ways forward where they could work more regularly as a team impacted positively on their levels of engagement and on sales performance.
“I didn’t think it would work but it did”
This team of sales supervisors undertook a monthly training programme which combined bits of theory with practical input and assignments to carry out from one month to the next. During one feedback session one supervisor confessed ‘I didn’t think that one of these new theories could work in practice, but it did!’
“I’ve started to have ideas!”
This supervisor was astonished to learn that by managing his emotional reactions to events and to other people, he was able to generate new levels of staying even in pressured situations. His reduced agitation led to another unexpected benefit – his thinking became more lateral and strategic. ‘I’ve started having ideas!’ he exclaimed with delight.
“I came home and found a tramp in my bed”
A supervisor on a presentation skills course confessed that he could be overcome by nerves whenever he was in the position of speaking publicly. The course gave some new angles on how to prepare as well as supporting each delegate to find their own unique style. As a practice, each person picked a subject that they were affected by. When this person described the day that he came home from work to find that a tramp had got into his house and got into the bed for a sleep he forgot all nerves, engaged the audience fully and became a legend storyteller within his organisation!
“It’s so lovely to feel calm”
This manager learned some mindful exercises in order to regain clarity and grounded-ness in his working day. He had initially remarked ‘My brain feels like a washing machine’ which later gave way to his delight at generating some calm within his mind and body. He coupled this learning with a routine that reduced all the extra hours he was doing. He later was astonished by the conclusion ‘I’m working less hours but getting more done!
“That reminds me of the time I killed someone”
All training benefits from exercises done in pairs or small groups where the delegates can share their own experiences and find answers for themselves on the given subject. Sometimes the shared experiences can be unexpected such as in this case where a man had served in the forces many years earlier and certain discussions had triggered this memory. It can take many years of training experience to manage the unexpected…….And still learning….