This isn’t something I’ve ever had to worry about. I’ve worked in a business development and training delivery role for over twenty years, so talking to people over the telephone or in a face to face situation has never phased me.
I guess I could be considered “lucky” when it comes to communication.
I don’t get nervous when I need to present to others, I don’t get worried or stressed about picking up the telephone, and most people will tell you I’m not shy in getting my point across!
So, it was interesting when I read some of the forty feedback forms from our latest “Communications Masterclass” – an event that EML designed and delivered specifically for a group of Apprentices from several East Midlands based employers.
Spending a day with a group of people who were all keen to develop their own communication skills was a real eye opener for me, and I learnt that the skills I take for granted (presenting to groups, leading meetings, pitching ideas etc) were genuine challenges for lots of other people.
As part of our close partnership with Futures for Business (Nottingham), EML were asked to draw on our experience of delivering engaging team building activities and to combine this with a structured skills development session aimed at a mixed group of Apprentices, providing new tips and tricks to become better communicators.
For many attending this workshop, there were undoubtedly some reservations; “I don’t know anyone in my group”, “What if people think my ideas are rubbish?”, “How do I get my point across?”.
Questions that many people constantly ask themselves during their working lives.
Young people entering the world of work are even more likely to be asking questions like this, so we were absolutely delighted to see how people’s attitude and approach to communication changed so quickly over the course of the day.
We challenged the delegates to a series of interactive tasks – all focused on becoming a “Master Communicator” – with the highlight of the day being a whole group challenge to build a series of Lego towers remotely before coming together to make them fit together as one.
As one of the facilitators of the event, I saw a genuine transformation in people as they started to understand that being introverted wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, or that having a strong personality didn’t have to alienate others. I saw a group of strangers working together to focus on a key objective, and at the end of the session (and it was a long day!) I was presented with some amazing feedback:
“I’m going to be more considerate of others….”
“I need to start speaking up more in group situations….”
“I’m going to ask for help sooner!”
We love working with people who want to get better at what they do – and working with a group of people who were new to the world of work actually taught me a few things too!