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Frances Ferguson

Glasstap Ltd

Training Design Manager

Read more from Frances Ferguson

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What would your teenage self think of you now?


It’s a great question isn’t it? What would your 15 year old self would say if asked?

It can be strange, nice strange, but strange nonetheless, to look back on our teenage years; to recall those heady times when anyone who disagreed with us must be old/mad/or simply just plain wrong?

Do you laugh when you think back on those times? Do you wince & wish you hadn’t said or done something? Do you roll your eyes when you consider the outfits/hairdos you sported? Or would you gladly swap the confidence that experience brings for the exhilarating feeling that comes with believing you already know everything?

I was reflecting upon this during the week when I was lucky enough to be at a conference with Andy Hunt - the guy who headed up Team GB in the run up to London 2012.

He was eloquent, he was witty & he was insightful. But most of all he reminded us all of what a colossal achievement last summer was for our country. That magical time of success on & off the field of play in those wonderful days when the Olympics came to town.

Andy shared with us some of the fascinating trials and tribulations that lead up to those meticulously planned, momentous 16 days before being asked a very simple question: “What was the most important thing you learnt from the whole experience?

It was a great question; the kind of question that we all wished we had been able to ask.  A quiet ripple of approval went around the room.

His answer was simple; he said “Whoever you meet, whatever you do, don’t be intimidated, they are just normal people. The best thing you can do is be yourself.”

Wise words from a guy who had spent four years with some of the most famous people on the planet; the kind of people who will make up the history books that future generations will study in school.

Be yourself” a simple thing to do, but for most of us one that requires enormous courage.

Be yourself”, something that requires us to trust that we are indeed worth being ourselves.

Be yourself”, something that most of us spend a good chunk of a lifetime trying to work out how to be & are not quite sure we’ve managed it.

Aside from being great advice for us personally, It’s an important reminder for all of us in the wonderful world of L&D that whilst we are here to change behaviour, we are not here to change the person underneath.

His words were a great reminder that whilst we should challenge, we should question, we should cajole, what we should never forget is that in a room full of learners it is not what we know that matters the most. Why? Because it’s almost certain that between them all, our learners already know what the right thing to do is.

So our job isn’t to change people; our job is simply to help people work out what they want to do to change their outcomes.

Aren’t we the lucky ones...

Author Profile Picture
Frances Ferguson

Training Design Manager

Read more from Frances Ferguson

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