Setting the scene
Almost 10 years ago, I had the enormous privilege to present on behalf of the Continence Foundation of Australia with Mary O’Dwyer. This opportunity was 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 is so different in her delivery and manner. She is soft-spoken, has a warm personality and has a great vocabulary (which I like to listen to). In addition, she had the most wonderful way of getting her message across.
This event was held in Brisbane, and it was fantastic! Great feedback, interaction with the trainers and 5 CECs, and lunch, morning and afternoon tea were provided (all free). So what is there not to like about it?
There is a reoccurring pattern in these workshops (which 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 mixed with 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 are 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 opinion. Still, it becomes more apparent when questions are asked.
3. Ahh, this is the fascinating bit – the questions. This is telling and gives the presenter an insight into how effective they are with 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 profoundly affected 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. 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. Is anyone still using the phone that they have had for five years? Probably not! Understanding the body, how it functions, and effective methods to achieve desired goals also change with new information. This is also a simple way of explaining to clients 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, tell them this. It’s ok. Things change, and a client rarely judges a professional trainer because they are keeping up to date.
Knowing when it is time to change
When the student is ready, the teacher arrives. Thus, our paths only collide with new information because we are prepared to evolve. Avoid being precious about what you have learnt in the past. That gripping onto what is now being challenged will make it harder to shift again. Instead, welcome the opportunity and remind yourself that you are open-minded, intelligent and wise enough to know it is time to change. I am so glad I use an iPhone and not the brick I had 20 years ago, and I dare say you are too. 😃