17 March 2011

Push through your own limitations

Something happened recently that demonstrated the importance of being a bigger person than you think you can be.

My students gave their final project presentations, the culmination of 8 months of work, presenting their workplace improvement initiative to management. We'd trained them in planning skills, leadership, sales, presentation skills and project management yet still they came in nervous.  

One woman in particular was especially ill at ease.  She'd fled the room in tears in the Presentation Skills class, believing she would never be able to stand confidently in front of her peers.  Fortunately she was big enough to come back in and be an observer on that fateful day, and I reckon she learned a thing or two as the day progressed.  By the end of the day she even gave a short presentation to a small group.  

Today she presented her project with her head held high, a confident demeanour, and a powerful message.  She'd been big enough to allow her colleagues to mentor her, cajole her and coach her.  She'd been big enough to go back through her material and follow what she'd learnt.  She was big enough to push through her own all-consuming fear.  And she gave a stellar performance.  

Was it comfortable. No.
Did she make an impact? Yes.  Did she gain her the respect of her peers? Yes.  Did she grow through the process? Yes. Did she feel like it had been worth it? Yes.