There’s no two ways about it… our training courses are challenging.
Sometimes I forget just how challenging they are and it takes something to remind me. Like today.
I have been running a training course in a top secret location in the Midlands. Just off the A34. In Shirley. The training centre just off the high street.
I’ve mentioned before that we use a huge amount of video skills in our courses and this week has been no exception. As always delegates on the course didn’t really relish the idea of being filmed and then getting specific and direct feedback but they were all up for it…
Or nearly all.
There was one guy who was clearly very nervous. He didn’t really mention it to me but I could see that he was bricking it. (That’s a technical term for a little bit stressed.) I decided that I needed to talk to him about how he was feeling and as I started to ask him he suffered quite a nose bleed.
A nose bleed could be caused be any number of things… and those things include high blood pressure and stress. Probably not a great combination.
In this case it was time to stop pushing.
However, there are times when it’s right to push delegates to do more. My wife is very claustrophobic, which probably explains why we often run training courses that involving caving, usually on the Mendip Hills.
We use the caves to demonstrate the power of challenge and support. In the case of my wife she plays someone (very convincingly as it happens) who doesn’t want to do the exercise. It’s amazing the number of team members, who are all managers of significant teams, who just say ‘okay then’ and leave her at the entrance of the cave whilst they have a great time.
It would be really good if they said, ‘Come on, just come to the entrance of the cave’, and then ‘Just a few steps inside, I’m with you’, and then ‘A few more steps to see what it’s like.’
Just imagine the feeling of euphoria and achievement my wife would get if she was challenged to face her fear and then received support as she did it.
In fact one group did just that and she further into the cave than she ever thought possible.
It’s important, though, to know where the limit is.
After all, we don’t want blood on the carpet!