Setting the scene:
On the 14th November I had the enormous privilege to present on behalf of Continence Foundation of Australia with Mary O’Dwyer. This opportunity was right up there on my wish list as I had heard of Mary for years and knew about her books and quite simply, I was star struck!
Mary is one of the best presenters I have seen in my career and so different in her delivery and manner. She is softly spoken, has a warm personality and an incredible vocabulary (which I really like to listen to). She had the most wonderful way of getting her message across.
This event was held in Brisbane and it was fantastic! Great feedback and interaction with the trainers and with 5 CECs, lunch and morning and afternoon tea provided (all for free), what is there not to like about it?
There is a reoccuring pattern that happens in each of these workshops, (which I believe happens in most other workshops) with individuals… when the penny drops!
It goes something like this:
1. People walk into the room. I always sense emotions that are a mix of curiosity, interest, a little anxiety, feelings of ‘is there anyone I know here?’ and detachment.
2. As the workshop progresses, I observe how people’s faces change. Some open, willing, listening and engaging. Others start to close off, or are frustrated and I have seen the occasional angry face. Of course this is just me reading body language and therefore my own personal opinion, but it becomes clearer when questions are asked.
3. Ahh, this is the really interesting bit – the questions. This is really telling and gives the presenter an insight in to how effective they are with the message delivery. I like a lot of questions as it shows that someone is working through something in their head. The more questions, the more engaged people are.
4. Then there is a shift. If the presentation has had a profound effect with the dissemination of knowledge, there is a stirring. The stirring can be enlightenment and motivation to move forward (usually) or anger – ‘why wasn’t I told about this in my course?’ or ‘they should be telling us this’ (not sure who ‘they‘ are), or bewilderment and anxiety as the individual realises that they need to make a change, but are not too sure how they are going to go about it.
Change is not a simple process. It means challenging belief systems, understanding where they began (usually not in the Cert III course, but prior to the course) and finally detaching from a way of thinking that has been comfortable for a long time. It means having a good hard look at ‘why‘ rather than ‘it’s always been that way‘.
I like using the analogy of the mobile phone. Anyone still using the phone that they have had for 5 years? Probably not! Well, then understanding the body, how if functions and effective methods to achieve desired goals also change, also needs to change with new information. This is also a simple way of explaining it to clients as to why a training method, choice of exercises or technique has changed. This is usually the reason for the most resistance to change – ‘what am I going to say to my clients when I have been telling them to do this exercise in a particular way for years?‘. Well, just tell them. It’s ok, things change and rarely does a client judge a professional trainer because they are keeping up to date.
When the student is ready….
I believe that when the student is ready, the teacher arrives and thus our paths only collide with new information because we are ready to evolve. Avoid being precious about what you have learnt in the past and know that gripping onto what is now being challenged, will make it harder to shift again the future. Welcome the opportunity and remind yourself that you are open minded, intelligent and wise enough to know that it is time to change. I am so glad that I use an iPhone and not the brick that I had 20 years ago, and I dare say that you are too.