I was thinking about that idea this week as I prepared to deliver a session on appreciation and encouragement for a group of corporate trainers.
To an experienced presenter, another day in the seminar room might be experienced as ‘business as usual’. However, for some of the first time learners, being in a classroom may be far from their everyday experience. Although a change of pace and a chance to learn something new may be exciting for them, it may also feel risky. And if their past experiences in learning settings were not exactly supportive (like long division trauma at the Grade Five chalkboard), they may be worried about whether they will measure up, be embarrassed, or even be able to understand what’s going on.
Think back to a few of your own experiences along the way: starting grade one, first day of high school, beginning a brand new job. Although you may have been all smiles on the outside, chances are good there was a major case of nerves brewing on the inside.
It’s not just education that delivers the first time jitters. Healthcare: first time you undergo surgery. Finance: first time you sign your name for a major loan or a mortgage. Parenting: first time you realize this helpless creature is entirely dependent on you.
Here’s where I’m going with this. What may be old hat for some of us will be all new for someone else. If we are to bolster the confidence of novices around us, we need to imagine ourselves in their shoes. We need to bring all the compassion and understanding we can muster to the way we work with them.
ACTION: Who in your world – professional or personal – is ‘first timing it’ in a ‘new-to-them’ arena of life?
What kind of encouragement and mentorship can you offer? What kind of support can you provide to ease their load, calm their concern, and pave the way for their success?
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.” – George Washington Carver
RESOURCE OF THE WEEK: Check out this interesting article on How To Cultivate Compassion In Your Life .
READERS WRITE: In response to last week’s message about the Power of Progress, Pause reader, BM writes: “Well said. I had exactly that experience when I mulled over designing a mini-campaign for three weeks and finally did the creative and sent it over to my VA (with a big push from my coach). Great energy ever since. This stuff is true!”