You. Lead. Now. Leadership Training
Last week I talked about the first day of a leadership training course provided by Kansas Leadership Center. To read about Day 1 please click here!
This week I will expand on to the next day.
The second day we were able to spend some time in small groups to discuss a specific problem that each group member brought to the conference to get different perspectives. The last week I had been contemplating my problem and how I was going to present it to a group of strangers. I was aware before the training that I would be sharing it but I didn’t know the full situation until we made it passed day 1. We had just enough time in each small group session for 2 people to present, so there wasn’t small talk or getting to know each other. It was straight to business.
I think it is easier to be one of the first people to present, just get it out of the way. But, I wasn’t about to be the first one in my group. That worked out well, we had some very eager beavers. I took my role of observer on very well, the problem is that the small groups are about listening and then feedback, I had to give opinions… oh man. It can be difficult for me to voice my opinion while other people are speaking, because I get very nervous that I will interrupt or that I will say the wrong thing. The group tried very hard to make sure everyone had a chance to talk, that was a requirement of the training though.
I felt like the first two presenters had these really serious problems, that by comparison mine didn’t even matter. Talking to other group members, a couple of them shared my feelings as well, that relieved a lot of my stress. We had some more large and middle sized group training on the second day. All of the groups started to become more comfortable and familiar. You start to get to know the outspoken people very quickly, but you also start to notice people that you have things in common with.
In our medium sized group, it was really rocky on Day two. During the morning meet-up, we were made to classify ourselves into three different groups and parts of the exercise almost felt hostile between two of the groups. It was a huge misunderstanding, but it did represent a very important point about “leadership”. This was the most tension that I had felt during all three days and I was caught in between being a wall-flower or being a defender. Luckily someone else took the defender role before I was compelled to, so I observed most of the time.
The afternoon small group session cam and I decided this was my time to present. It was a good balance in the middle. Everyone had some practice with the first two, but I didn’t want to wait to be last. Ultimately I was the fourth presenter in our group. I felt like I handled the feedback really well, they thought that they had been pretty tough. Sometimes you need to hear the things that might hurt your feelings. With strangers, at least you know, it’s nothing personal.
How do you handle criticism?