Almost there...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Team Building

My new manager arranged for us, the three IT trainers, to work with a presentation coach as a team to hone our skills and enable us to work as peer coaches with each other. We met three times as a group, doing non-work presentations, familiar work-related presentations, and team teaching exercises. After weeks (months even) of feeling barely competent at work, it's fascinating to be told repeatedly that I'm doing everything right. The suggestions were all polish on a ripe, juicy, sweet apple. Tweak this tiny thing here. Try this gesture. The improvement comments were so small compared to "See this? She's got it. This is great. You've got it." and "Excellent. This is just what we were talking about. You've got this stuff nailed." Voice volume and expressiveness was right. Gestures were meaningful. No excess business to clutter the impression. Good concise examples and stories to draw people in. Good eye contact. Good focus. Good good good.

It wasn't til I was sitting at home tonight that I actually came back down to earth with a thump, wondering if Nancy had let Deb know how badly my confidence had been shattered and asked her to boost it up a bit. I doubt it, but with all that heaping praise, I actually had to wonder for a moment.

No, I think I'm actually pretty good at what I do, and it means I end up in some pretty high-stakes situations. Every now and then, I'm on a totally different wavelength than those around me and it gets me into icky situations where there's not a good, clean path to success. But even the one project that crashed and burned so badly is back on track and I'm handling the School of Medicine side with skill and grace.

So our team building was successful, in an odd way. I still don't feel like I know what I'm doing wrong, but I feel better about what I'm doing right.

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