Teachable Opportunities

Last week, I was recognized by my former employee for the work that I did in 2010. I was awarded Instructor of the Year for my support in teaching fellow employees. As employees were are encouraged to instruct other employees. I have done this many times throughout my career and it has always been something that I have enjoyed. I had been recognized in the past, as one of the many instructors that the company has, but to be one of a handful of instructors of the year – that was special. I was asked to share a few moments with the other high performing instructors on what I have done and what it meant to me.

Here is the basics of what I discussed:

  • My subject matter this time around was a newly formed “New to Management” series. Since I write about management and leadership inside and outside the firewall – I thought this was subject matter I could get totally passionate about. When asked, I jumped at the chance.
  • When I made my decision to retire, this also was a very great opportunity for me to give back. Since I had spent most of 27 of my 28 years as a supervisor and manager – I have plenty of experiences to share with my fellow managers.
  • Going through the material helped me in two ways. When you sign up to instruct, you pretty much have to be one with the content. I went back and refreshed myself with the what’s, why’s and how come’s. The other big area that the material helped me with – is looking back on those 27 years – I got to relive lots of experiences. All the good and the bad, but teachable moments.
  • Armed with all of the content and my experiences off I went to instruct. I just have to say, I loved it! I truly had fun doing it. Whenever another instructor had a conflict – I was quick to volunteer to cover. I looked forward to teaching and sharing.
  • After the first class, I started to get the comments from the student surveys. Those comments were just awesome. They fueled me to want to do more. I started to get emails from students telling me what a great job I did. I even got a few of them that wanted to sit down for additional discussions. I was hooked!
  • In the new to management program – they set up a virtue community and I shared lots of content there for the new managers. The comments, questions and discussions were slow to come in, but after awhile I saw it was working.

Key takeaway: Find that subject matter that you are passionate about and care to share your good and bad experiences with being yourself – you can have an impact on the future.

I didn’t set out to be instructor of the year (I didn’t even knew we had such a thing). When I was a new manager, we had no program to help out those newbies. We pretty much learned on our own, be it reading, going to additional outside training or OJT. I liked the idea of the program. The material was good. Best of all, getting together and sharing made the classes well worth it. I am thankful that I had that opportunity.

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