I relearned a valuable lesson last week. I was delivering an eight hour presentation on Harnessing the Winning Mind and Warrior Spirit to a group of about 25 law enforcement officers consisting mainly of patrol officers and supervisors. Most of the group was engaged, interested and participative throughout the day. A few individuals however, seemed to be bored by the entire presentation and gave the impression they were only there because they were told to attend. One was checking her e-mail and texting throughout the entire day while another was also checking her e-mails throughout the day and reading a yoga magazine throughout the presentation.
This type of behaviour bothers me as I believe it is disrespectful to the presenter and the other people in the class. It is also disruptive when they decide that the person beside them should also read their e-mails.
In my presentation In Pursuit of Personal Excellence one of the strategies I provide for people is to focus on what you control. I should have taken my own advice as I allowed this behaviour on the part of two or three people to distract me. In reflections I learned, or relearned some valuable lessons:
- Set the ground rules. If I do not want people checking their e-mail and texting during the class then I should establish that as a ground rule at the start of the day.
- My responsibility is to prepare as much as possible and give the participants in the class 100% effort during my presentation.
- I am responsible for my preparation, my delivery, my content and for creating an environment that is most conducive to learning.
- I am responsible to remain upbeat, positive, focused and passionate throughout my presentations.
- I am responsible to the participants, not for them.
- Participants in the class are responsible for the attitude they bring to class and their attitude towards learning.
- I am failing to fulfill my commitments to the remainder of the participants if I allows a few people to distract me during a presentation.
I take my responsibilities as a trainer very seriously and believe that what I have to say can potentially save and / or an officer’s life. My goal is to provide something of value to everyone in the room. I must accept however, that not everyone is interested in what I have to say or how I say it. Therefore, I need to make sure that I always focus on what I control, and what I control is myself.