We make enormous use of video skills in our training courses.
Not particularly because we are sadistic in a very cruel and voyeuristic kind of way, but because the process really helps our delegates see themselves as others see them. As a result they are able to make very subtle changes that help them become better and better at what they do.
It’s fair to say (and I do at the beginning of every course) that delegates, more often than not at the end of a course, say to me ‘My God I hated doing those videos… but I wish we could have done more of them!’
I’m very sad to say that delegates don’t believe me either when I tell them this.
We do set our video skills practices up in a very particular way, to help with getting full buy in from our delegates.
Not least amongst our ground rules is the fact that we always erase every video we shoot after the feedback sessions. No exceptions, without fail.
That’s not to say I don’t regret having to wipe the videos because some of them are very, very funny.
Oh, they don’t mean to be, of course, but they are.
I know I shouldn’t laugh, but I can’t help myself. My all time favourite scene ran like this:
We were working with a gardening franchise (that is no longer with us). The sales person was a very young and very naive lad of about 20 years of age. I seem to remember his dad had bought him the franchise as he had been BA cabin crew but didn’t want to do it anymore because the work was a bit hard.
His customer was a slightly older lady, I guess in her mid-fifties.
The young lad, having finished explaining about lawn cutting, lifted his eyes to the bottom of the garden where there was a handsome looking hedgerow, brought his eyes back to his female customer and said: ‘Your bush looks a bit ropey. Do you want me to trim that?’
Pandemonium in the classroom, the camera was bobbing about all over the place as our trainer tried not laugh, and amidst it all, the young lad had no idea what all the fuss was about.
But better was to come, as, bless her heart, the lady played right along.
She took a long, slow, thoughtful look at the young man and said with a dead straight delivery: ‘No thank you, young man. My husband does that for me.’