Training and Engagement...
For a lot of my working life, (bear in mind that I’m 27, so hopefully I have a lot left) I have struggled to realise what I’m good at and what to focus on when it comes to developing my personal skills.
I came to ICP just over seven months ago and was eager to immerse myself into a new world of digital assets, marketing and production. And still am. Thankfully, I have now found something I love and want to focus on above all: training. At least twice a week, I go and shut myself in a room and speak to people around the world about how to use a system we oversee for Unilever. More recently, I have been set free from the office to do this face-to-face, which may sound a bit grey and dull to an outsider, or even some of my colleagues... but I love it.
At the age of four, I distinctly remember being called “quirky” by a teacher, which always made me feel consciously and a little uncomfortably different. Even if she didn't mean to be unkind, it has stuck with me. I constantly try to make things work in my life, so with that quirkiness I have honed an ability to drum up enthusiasm for just about anything. I think at first, people almost see it as a mindless quality, (I’m guilty myself of labeling it as mindless enthusiasm) but then when they get to see me training, I hope they see that this enthusiasm is genuine and has a purpose (most of the time).
In my mind, no matter how much technology advances, there will always be the need for people to actually implement training one way or another. I truly hope that the people who have the power in their companies will always remember this. To have that contact with someone over a call, or even better, face-to-face, is without a doubt the best way to engage with someone. It's easy to forget that technology has evolved so quickly, but as humans we take a little longer. We are designed to appreciate and seek out tactile, real things, physically seeing the results of our hard work! Be it a freshly-ploughed field, a spotless kitchen or a compressively arranged set of digital assets (guess which one I like the most).
The Value In Training
I am definitely not a psychologist, but I know that if I get the chance to at least speak to someone, then they will be more likely to understand something than if they were to sit in front of a video or read a PDF. To be able to sit with someone and work with them, not just mindlessly reading off of a script about system processes, as well as understanding that what you’re doing works with what they need - this is invaluable. Sure, you get some miserable sticks in the mud who pretty much refuse to adapt and change, which can be frustrating when they unfortunately have no other choice. However, at least you had the chance to see it for yourself, so that you know what you’re working with, rather than exchanging increasingly passive aggressive emails.
At the time of writing this, in a couple of hours I will be training seven or so people, all with varying workloads and processes. In my opinion, it couldn't get any better. In that one hour of training, I aim to get each and every person to come away feeling like they can use and maybe even enjoy our system. Or, at the very least, leave with an awareness of how to pronounce my name, though sometimes even that doesn't quite happen.