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Tuesday Insight: Preparing for Challenges

So, the UK is entering another period of lockdown. My heart goes out to all sorts of people, including those who have been so excited about getting back to face-to-face training. I understand how disappointing this will be for you.

This has certainly been a year of unparalleled challenges, professionally and personally. I’m writing this week’s Insight surrounded by boxes as we’re due to move to a new house (in France!) on the 13th November. You can imagine there’s a great deal of uncertainty and some anxiety at home at the moment!

There are two things I recommend that certainly help me cope with challenges like those we’re facing at the moment. The first is find an activity that gives you mental space.

It doesn’t matter what it is; but it needs to be something that is so engaging, that requires so much focus, it takes your mind away from the wider world and, most importantly, keeps you in the moment. A lot of stress is caused by worrying about the future, and reliving the past, so this mental break from those stress points is really important.

For me, increasingly this year, I’ve found that escape in Creative Writing. Writing stories allows my imagination to run wild and, personally, I find it keeps me in the moment and focused far more effectively than, say, watching a film or even reading a book. If you’d like to see my creative output, you’ll find it here. Having said that, I think it’s important to remember that the real value in doing something that keeps us in the moment is what it does for our own mental health – though of course, it’s always rewarding if someone else values it too.

The second thing I recommend is preparation. Paradoxically, given my love of all things creative, I am the king of contingency, spreadsheets and lists. I always have more than one option available to me, so that if one path becomes blocked, there are others I can follow. 

A lot of this year’s preparation has involved embracing alternative ways of delivering training. I’ve learnt, and helped others learn, how to deliver experiential and engaging training remotely. 

Now, as someone who has spent 20 years expounding the virtues of face-to-face training, this involved a massive step outside my comfort zone at the start of the year. But, as many of you know, I’ve become a complete convert. Indeed, in the nine months since we started building our library of training materials for remote delivery, I’ve learnt that training via Zoom can be every bit as engaging, interactive and powerful as training delivered in the classroom.  

And this new approach has opened new pathways to success that I’d never envisaged twelve months ago. I’ve met and worked with people across the globe that I might never otherwise have met, and we’re finding we can now run our Discovery Day and Creative Training Essential events more frequently because they’re so much easier to fill. Most importantly, we’ve been able to add real value to Trainers’ Library membership that’s helped support our customers during a very difficult year.

Having options doesn’t mean you have to use them; but it does mean you’re better able to adapt if the situation you’re in changes abruptly. Learning how to deliver training remotely, without reverting to ‘Death by PowerPoint’ does not mean turning your back on face-to-face training. What it does mean is gaining new skills that not only help you cope, but to thrive in today’s challenging environment. And it means equipping yourself with tools that could help you manage future challenges successfully too. 

If you’ve not embraced remote delivery yet, or even if you have, we’re here to help. Our library of innovative, engaging training materials for remote delivery is growing every week. 

If you’re nervous about delivering this way, our Discovery Days give you a fantastic opportunity to test and develop your skills in a supportive environment, and our Creative Training Essentials courses give you the skills to deliver training remotely that learners will remember and be inspired by. 

And, in recognition of the special challenges we all face at the moment, we’ve got some Special Offers available. Contact us for more details. 

Until next time…

November 4 2020Rod Webb

Rod Webb

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