Those were the words I heard! Shocked, dismayed, in a state of disbelief…what should I do? What would you do?
I’ve been a professional speaker, trainer and motivator for better than 16 years. I heard those words. “You’re not connecting with your audience…like the other trainers”…what should I do? Did I have a choice, especially, since I was the designated “lead trainer.”
All types of thoughts ran through my mind. What was the problem? We had met with the decision makers the night before. We had completely discussed what was going to be covered during the day of training…specifically the guidelines that were going to be followed and the material that was going to be covered. We had a list of every objective they wanted to be covered and we had answered all of their questions. We were ready to conduct the training. I was charged up and ready for a highly interactive, challenging and rewarding day of training—after all, I have been doing it for better than 16 years.
The day of training began. My audience was engaged, involved and participating quite well. We were on schedule to complete all of the objectives and I was pleased as we went to our first break. During the break, I got called to the side and was told quietly discreetly, you’re not connecting with the audience…you’re fired. What was I to do….what could I do…what was the problem…where was the disconnect? I had crossed all of my “T’s”, had dotted all of my “I’s” and there still was a problem. What would you do? This was a challenge to my self-worth, my self-value, my self-esteem.
I thought for a minute. I thought about all of the things that I have been teaching for a number of years and now I had to put them into practice. There is a quote that clearly describes the situation and the action that I should take…”who you are speaks so loudly that people can’t hear what you say.” I recognized that it is never about me, it is always about the audience! How is the audience receiving my message and I am connecting? They had hired my team and the team results were the most important thing. Satisfying our clients was paramount. The second thing was a challenge to my self-worth, and self-value--my self-esteem. If you have limiting doubts about your self-worth or self-value, it’s reflected in your behavior—what you do and how you’re perceived. I know I’m good at what I do…my results over the years have proven how good I am. Yet, there was one person—the final decision maker—who was not pleased. What would you do?
Again, it is never about me, it is always about the audience, the client, the customer and satisfying their needs. I controlled my emotions, talked with the other trainers to ensure that we were going to cover all of the customers' expectations, and scheduled some time with the “actual” decision maker.
The discussion with the “actual” decision maker made me realize what was requested and actually needed were almost completely different. Also, I realized that while the audience may be engaged, if the decision maker is not engaged, you’re going to have many challenges. If my self-esteem was not very high, my responses may have been completely different…to my detriment. Hopefully, my actions speak for who I am. Do yours? Have you been tested lately? How did you respond? It’s only a matter of time. Hopefully, you won’t be fired?