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Adrian Pitt

Develop-meant Training Consultants


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Dire Traits!


Why is it that some people revert to "type" when they enter the training room? ADRIAN PITT of Develop-meant Training Consultants has done a spot of "people watching" over the years while he's delivered his courses and asks "Have you come across any of the characters below?"

So, today you're delivering an Assertiveness training course and you're feeling about as bold as Bill and Ben on their first day at Elocution School! You're driving to the venue, the Sat Nav could be communicating in Cantonese for all you care. To say you're "dreading" the impending session is probably a bit too strong, however, those butterflies are certainly banging about inside your belly. You arrive, set up the room and, while you await your audience, a pool of nervous sweat starts to form by the flipchart stand!

The sixty-four million dollar question is: "Who WILL you get walk into the room today?" Let's see shall we?

Oh look! Here's Mrs "I don't know why I'm here, you can't tell me anything more than I already know". She'll greet you with an insincere smile, the kind of face that resembles a bulldog licking wee off a nettle. She'll head straight for the coffee and biscuits (after all, that's the ONLY perk of being there). She'll position herself next to her "best mate", spend the rest of the session with her arms folded, bemoaning how hard done-by she is at her company. Her input to group discussions will be negative, she'll be frustrated about everything, so much so, you could plug two leads to her earrings and run the ceiling fan off her. She wears black.

Why! Who's this?! It's Mr "My Manager sent me". He'll burst into the room in an attention-seeking kind of way. Strangely, he'll be drawn to the "lady in black" (in this case, two negatives DON'T repel!). He'll keep saying: "I don't know why I'm here..." A complete lack of self-awareness. Him and his new-found sparring partner above will be the only two people in the room who won't be able to fathom what his Manager can see in him that's resulted in a day out of the office. Twenty minutes into the session and you're in the adjoining stationary cupboard bottling empathy and having it couriered over to his boss!

Oh no! Let's welcome Mr "I'm just back from the Jim Bowen School of Comedy". He'll be cracking one-liners throughout while the rest of the room are rolling their eyes. Everything that comes out of his mouth is far from politically correct. You draw the line at: "I haven't spoken to my mother-in-law in 18 months, I don't like to interrupt her!" (c) Ken Dodd. A quiet word in his ear at coffee break and he's eating Gypsy Creams out of the palm of your hand.

Finally, we've got Mrs "I'm too hot, I'm too cold". Whatever the temperature of the room, she's not happy. First and foremost, she'll run in dithering, it's a bit nippy outside and it's raining. She'll stand against the radiator in a fleece and it's not long before "Eau de Dalmatian" is wafting across the training room! You do all you can to accommodate her fluctuating heating needs. Come the afternoon, she's panting like a poodle at a rave, using one of your hand-outs as a makeshift fan, the fleece is festering on the back of her chair and she's puffing more than Ivor the Engine! As an intuitive trainer, you spot this. Feeling pleased with yourself, you turn on the air conditioning. Ten minutes later, you turn to see how she's doing. She's busy rubbing two marker pens together to make a fire and booking her next holiday to Tenerife!

Is it any wonder you're shattered at the end of the session juggling ALL of these personalities? Your saving grace - the evaluation forms. You have a quick flick, fair play, you've done well...ahem...apart from: "What DIDN'T you enjoy about the session today?" Answer: "The room was too cold!"

Nurse?! Where are my tablets?!

Catch you again soon,


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