At my recent high school reunion as I looked around the room, I saw many familiar faces. As soon as I recognized former classmates, memories of times long ago magically appeared. I approached these classmates confidently and ready to laugh at our antics. We had a great time connecting and catching up. But there were many unfamiliar faces, and I’m not talking about classmates’ spouses. I hesitated to approach those I couldn’t remember, and I began to worry that something was wrong with me. I should be able to remember everyone from my 200ish member class. We hadn’t changed that much… had we? After my reunion, I looked at my high school yearbook, and suddenly those unfamiliar faces became very familiar. I totally remembered but only after I took the time to review those senior pictures. Why didn’t I get out the yearbook BEFORE the reunion? It’s easier to grocery shop with a pre-made list, enjoy a vacation with a pre-organized agenda, and even have more fun at a reunion with a pre-view of your former classmates. etc Strategies believes that pre-work can make the difference in most every communication experience. Whether you review client background information before an appointment or whether you formally plan a training session, preparing will make the experience more successful.
Recently, as I watched a rerun of one of my favorite shows, “New Girl,” I laughed as one of the characters, Winston, loved puzzles but was terrible at putting them together. He struggled to put pieces in the obviously wrong places, but he always had a great time trying. Later in the show, Winston learned that the he is colorblind causing his issues with successfully completing the puzzle. But even colorblind, Winston still loved the challenge and continued in his own very creative way to put them together. Can you imagine trying to work a puzzle and not seeing certain colors? You would have to rely on other qualities and lots of trial and error. In training and communication, at times, we need to become “blind” in order to look at other solutions and be open to trial and error. Sometimes, we need to be “blind” to traditional or conventional ways. Other times, we may need to be “blind” to innovative ideas with no real substance. We need to be “blind” to personality conflicts and distractions. We need to be “blind” to the fear of risk-taking. etc Strategies believes that becoming “blind” can lead to more creative thinking a problem-solving as we solve puzzles in businesses and organizations.
I passed a Mud Farm the other day. At first I wasn’t sure of what grew on a Mud Farm, but the sign with the huge truck splashing in the mud helped me to understand. I’ve never been mudding, I’ve never seen others go mudding, and I really don’t plan to go mudding … ever. But I did wonder if those who do go mudding feel successful if they find the “muddiest” area on the farm. I assume that the “muddiest” area is the ultimate goal of mudding. In training situations, we should also seek the “muddiest” area, that skill, concept, or behavior that others can’t clearly understand. And we should seek immediate feedback from participants to find this area and address it. At etc Strategies, we believe that by creating a training environment where finding the “muddiest” area is part of the learning process, participants will learn, grow, and develop more effectively.
I love those “life hacks” on social media. I now use binder clips to organize my cords, squeeze my pancake batter out of an old ketchup bottle, and use pool noodles as boot stands. Using everyday items in new ways to make life easier is such a great idea! etc Strategies believes that using everyday communication strategies and teaching techniques for training and professional development is also a great idea! Many times these basic yet effective skills are overlooked in a professional environment. It’s time for “communication and training hacks”! Let us show you with Es how to use everyday strategies and techniques to make training easier and more successful.