Sometimes, you talk about things, but you don’t do them. You tell me you’re a coach and then when you’re not in ‘coaching mode’ you think it’s perfectly fine ask my intrusive questions laden with assumptions. I’m not talking congruence as such. (Another word being overused with the result undermining its meaning – which is important). I’m thinking more about …who are you? what are your true colours?
I purchased shiny new laptops for my colleagues, those I manage, and heard you say “you should keep the new one, you’re the manager, give them the old one”. That’s not my style. In fact I can’t think of single good reason to do that. Yes my laptop is a brick and doesn’t travel well. A new one would be nice. Gifting this old one, to a new colleagues – what does that communicate?
‘Look how much I value you’
‘See how much more important I am than you, and how much more important the work I do is than the work you do is’
‘You should be grateful you have this job and a laptop’
Can you think of any more?
You set the scene. You set expectations with the tangibles too. The office chair, the desk, the pen. The room, the space, whatever is on the walls. Today he’ll start his new role on 4th Jan with a shiny new laptop.
When I lived in Nottingham as student the local KFC had large plastic screens across the counter and you ordered through small holes in the plastic. Only large enough for sounds. I later learned this setting wasn’t dissimilar to probation service receptions around the country.
What does that say? When you walk into a place with a screen across the counter what does that tell you? What pieces does your mind put together? What are the expectations here?
You ask me for some L+D delivery for your team. We establish what you want, we have a plan, and then last…we book a room. “Yes it will seat everyone comfortably” you say, and “yes, there will be everything you need”.
And your request is that they are better/more motivated/better skilled/more effective after some time in this space together.
Then the facilitator arrives and:
- The ‘room’ is last weeks ‘store cupboard’ indicated by the old plaque still left on the door. No windows.
- The space provided is the corridor, with doors leading to toilets, kitchen, entrance, office.
- There are posters about overdose and injecting lavishing the walls.
- The room is accidentally not booked and/or the room has been move due to more important happenings.
What does this communicate? Not just the to the L+Der…what does this communicate to the value you put on the learning and development of others?
The value you place in the development of others is spoken in the whats wheres and hows. Yet when I query this you look at me like the space doesn’t matter.
I argue the opposite. The above just means more work for the facilitator, but oh the space matters.
When you think about the role of an L+Der, about learning, about developing others, about culture change – Please add learning environment creators to their repertoire.