Thursday, February 26, 2009

Why am I a Trainer?

Sometimes I wonder,

Why am I a Trainer?
... preparation for each and every program,
... meeting clients, understanding needs, designing a curriculum,
... negotiating with clients on rates,
... participant workbooks,
... delivering effectively,
... analysing feedback,
... meeting clients again,
... and much more.

Won't it be better to take up a job? or do something else...

Then I realise,
I always wanted to be here,
... to make a difference in self through others


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Appreciation as a Soft Skill

Genuine appreciation is what one looks out for and one starts valuing the appreciation and the appreciator.

Let's explore our Indian culture....

The Appreciator (the one giving the appreciation)
How many of us genuinely know how to appreciate? The appreciator is clumsy giving it and if the receiver is of the opposite gender, the appreciator is worried about what the receiver would think! Nowadays appreciating someone from the same gender isn't easy too. Even a Leader doesn't know how to give it. When appreciation is given in a 'open' environment, onlookers make faces that range from "Why" to "Flirt!!!". Sometimes even the receiver tries to find out the 'underlying intention' behind the appreciation.

The Receiver (the one being appreciated)
Secondly how many of us know how to "accept" appreciation? When appreciated, we are 'embarrassed' , we don't know how to react or respond, so we start a 'defensive' process. I recollect an incident; I appreciated (genuinely :-)) a participant as she looked lovely in a Sari that she had worn for her final presentation in a Presentation Skills Program. She felt awkward, looked down, mumbled that it's was her mother's sari (Indian traditional dress), turned around and sat down. When it was time for her to 'present' she started stammering the moment she looked at me. Needles to say, I felt guilty.

Teaching feedback and appreciation is also difficult! You brief participants that first they should give positive feedback and then put across the 'areas of improvement' . But if this process isn't facilitated, most of the participants first start the negatives. Giving positive feedback (includes appreciation) is soo difficult to most of us Indians.

Could it be because our parents don't give it?
Could it be because our teachers don't teach us this?
Could it be because most of our friends don't use it?
Could it be because our Seniors & Colleagues don't know how to give it?
Even Spouses rarely use it!!!

Therefore we would have to consciously use appreciation but should be done rightly and at the right time. Once we get used to this skill, then it is easier to use it, comes naturally and genuinely and becomes a habit.

And initially if it doesn't sound genuine, I think that's fine? At least one is learning the art of giving appreciations!

Warm regards

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Attended a Wine Appreciation workshop REVIEW

My 'high's' at the Wine Appreciation Workshop: 7th Feb, 2009
organised by Trainers Forum at Mumbai

Being a teetotaler (Goa port wine being an exception), I had a reason to participate in the Wine Drinking (oops!) Appreciation workshop.

Ages back, whilst working at British Council, I was hosting a "reception" (gathering) wherein Press, Key Invitees (CEO's / MD's of Companies) and Consul Officers were invited to meet the touring group (performers, artistes, music groups).

My Senior was on leave so my Director and myself were the host. After the formal introductions, we had a formal get-together where 'pure' (imported under Diplomatic baggage) wines and liquor flowed.

As a host, I had a glass of white wine and a toast was raised by my Director. One sip of White Wine and it was awful! I quickly went to the bartender and asked for white rum with lemonade (so that I could kill the taste of white wine). One sip and I was on Cloud 9 (the combo seems to have created that effect). I was given lime juice by the bartender to bring me back. I really don't remember what I spoke after this 'high' and with whom and how (good lord! the press didn't interview me)

After this incident, I always wanted to know what people like in wines and why there is soo much snob value attached to wines. In between, I did try red wine but that was awful too. Goa port was what I thought was good enough & uncomplicated for me.

So last Saturday, I set out to learn the art of wine appreciation. And Trainers Forum and Arun made it possible.

And boy, did I learn.
Jacob knew his grapes and his vines (pun unintentional), created 'foreplay' with the information and then ...

the wines,
White, Red, Rose, Apple, Sparkling

When told "how" to, the 'nosing' helped me enjoy the fragrance and the drinking and rolling it in the mouth made me feel it too.

Reds I still haven't liked but white was enjoyable and especially the apple was enchanting (I don't know the appropriate word in french).

The sad part was lot of wine got wasted, as we didn't drink all of it (or couldn't, I was seeing 2 Aruns by this time) and I didn't know whether I could ask for the wine to be "parceled". If we were served wines from the start of the workshop, I'm sure none would have been wasted but then I wonder whether we would have listened to Jacob at all.

Another sad part was, I couldn't interact with most of the participants as the group was big and no "Icebreaker" was part of this program.

I got a Certificate, ... now was it wine appreciator or wine drinker?, I don't know (I was on a pleasant high by this time).

Thank you Arun, Indage & Hyatt for this program. Friends, if you weren't present, you really missed it!!!

Warm regards

Being in touch

Planning to keep on updating my blog on a regular basis

Quotation of the Day