I get nervous

Really I do, before every training session I run.
I don’t see it as an issue and, in fact, I’ve said to myself that the day I don’t get nervous before a training course is the day I give up training delivery.
If we consider that nerves a simply a sign of pressure (or it’s big, bad cousin, stress in the worst case) and pressure leads to better performance, you can see why I say that.
But to the point of this blog…
We use video a lot in our training; it’s a form of accelerated learning and when people see themselves as others do, they can make changes that no end of coaching would achieve. You see, the videos exaggerate behaviour that already exists, highlights it and because awareness has been raised, delegates can choose to take responsibility to make a change.
I know this from personal experience. Let me tell you a story about my own development.
I was on a management development programme – specifically, presentation skills. We had to prepare a presentation ready for the first morning. Being young and brash (hard to believe, I know) I volunteered to go first… and promptly forgot everything that I was going to say.
Worse than that, I also lost control of my hands and started fiddling with my flies. (Not quite sure what that says about me when I’m under pressure.)
Worse than that, I was being watched by all the course delegates, five area managers and the whole thing was bring videoed. Now, bear in mind that this was the 1980s… the camera was the size of a suitcase and on a huge wooden tripod, with its own built in spotlight.
When it came to the feedback session the facilitator asked me the immortal question: ‘Richard, what did you do wrong?’
‘Take your pick: forgetting my words or fiddling with my privates. You can have either of those.’
I have to say, though, that I can track from that moment to this, why I do what I do. I learnt more in those few minutes and then watching it back (I didn’t know I had fiddled with my flies) than all the coaching I had received put together.
It also created the way we run feedback sessions, recognising strengths first and then dealing with the improvements.
It has left me with terrible nerves… just in the thirty seconds before I start a course. I do make sure I keep control of my hands, though!

Please leave a comment - we all like them