Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sparking a Flame - Bringing out the Best

I have worn many "hats" over the course of my life. I regularly use some of those "hats" in my current work as a stress coach, as so many of the skills are transferrable.

Recently, I went into the back of my "closet" and dusted off one of my "hats" when I was asked to substitute teach in an English as a Second Language (ESL) Literacy class for seven mornings.

It brought me a great deal of satisfaction to see the students feel comfortable and safe enough to take some language risks. Over the course of those seven mornings, even the shy students began speaking.

I am a big believer in lots of opportunities to engage, so we did a number of activities where they had to speak...with a lot of encouraging, cajoling and repetition, of course!

By doing a variety of activities that touch upon the strengths and capabilities of the different students, a spark of interest was ignited. They experienced some success in the target language (English), which increased their confidence and will help them build upon their success. They knew that I wanted them to succeed; they felt it, even if they didn't understand everything I was saying.

How do you get results from the people you work with? Are you the intimidator or the encourager?

As a coach, trainer, teacher, do your clients/students learn out of fear (stress) or are they learning with an openness and willingness to experiment, make mistakes and try again? Do they have fun learning?

What is the difference? What is the retention rate? Which one brings about a greater amount of creativity, satisfaction, achievement and smiles?

How is your stress affecting the quality of the lesson?

Image courtesy of Mario Alberto Magallanes Trejo.

4 comments:

  1. Marianna, I have been out of corporate life for a while now. I can however talk about my domestic help and those old colleagues that are still in touch with me. I am blessed with literally scores of them who remember the 'good old days' and my domestic help have been with us ever since we moved in here twenty years ago. I must have done something right. I really don't know what, but I seem to have been a good colleague, superior, subordinate, husband, parent, child etc without even trying deliberately to be so. I guess that I am just a natural!

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  2. Ramana,
    I'm not in the least surprised. :)

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  3. I am trying to give my son some extra help with his schoolwork as he fell behind in school recently owing to a disturbed period at home. You have given me some ideas on the sort of attitude I should have with him...thanks!

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  4. Gaelikka,
    Great!

    I'd love to hear how that changes things.

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