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October 19, 2006

Keeping It Going

By Rhonda Brown

Someone once said to me, “Oh, you do leadership development? Develop ME!” I laughed, because my mind’s eye saw a roll of film grabbing a photographer by the shirt, begging to be made into brilliant photos.

But I guess leadership development IS kind of like when you take your film to the pharmacy to get it “developed” (or at least how we used to do it, before the age of digital cameras)—what happens?

You drop it off as a small boring container, and when you get it back, the transformation is amazing! Out of nowhere, you suddenly have clear photos with lots of color, action and energy. Don’t laugh, but as an organizational trainer running a leadership “development” program, I see that as my job—to fill the leaders’ lives with clarity, color, action and energy.

In fact, right now I am on a training “high!” I just got back from facilitating a full day off-site leadership development session with 84 participants, and I feel like a million bucks! The group was engaged, interactive, energetic and humorous. The comments on the “smile sheets” were very positive, and I received lots of nice compliments about my style and content.

That’s all fine and dandy, but here’s the question: when a trainer receives such accolades from their audience, how can that trainer keep from letting it “go to their head?” Have you ever been so thrilled with how a training session turned out that you’re thinking to yourself, “I AM all that and a bag of chips!” Is it OK to feel like that? What are some things that you do to keep that good feeling going, long after a successful session has ended (without inflating your ego so high that no one can stand you)?

More importantly, what do you do to keep those feelings in the forefront of your participants’ minds (not the feelings of how great you are, but the feelings of receiving powerful information and getting that “boost” of positive motivation to get them back on the right track in the workplace)?

Anyone care to share some of your methods for managing the emotions surrounding training?

Rhonda Brown is a TalentSmart certified trainer in emotional intelligence (www.talentsmart.com), who works as an organizational trainer at Covenant HealthCare in Saginaw, Mich. With a bachelor's degree in journalism/ communications and a master's degree in organizational development, Rhonda is passionate about motivating individuals to be their best self.


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We stay humble by focusing on the feedback from the participant's supervisor. We are proud when we "score" well, as we should be. As training managers we should celebrate excellent delivery but as we all know training is only one of the drivers of perfromance.

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