There’s an old book, film and musical entitled “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.” The title is old, but not outdated. At least not to me, as it relates to a 2018 experience. You see, a funny thing happened on the way to communication coaching. And the funny thing happened consistently.
To help individuals in a group become more confident in both public and personal speaking, I sometimes begin by making fun of myself. Self-deprecation can be an ice breaker. Then I transition to the “tips and tricks of the trade” using personal examples and a few videos. Without exception, all participants seem at ease and somewhat entertained. And then, almost without exception, the mood changes. That’s because it’s time for me to be the audience. It’s time for each class member to make their three to five minute presentation. (I ask the group coordinator in advance to have each participant come prepared to speak on a topic of their choice.)
That’s when the “funny thing happened.” The communication coaching turned into team building. Whether at the SIU School of Medicine or New Jersey USDA, I realized that each “student” was learning more about the other. Whether talking about a hobby or sharing a personal experience or presenting on a work-related topic or a family event, the class members honed their communications skills while visibly showing enlightenment about a co-worker. The following is confirmation from a participant of what I saw.
“I started out trying to get out of attending the training. Now I’m so glad I went. I found out a lot about myself (and my co-workers) and had a very enjoyable time in the process. We kept going long after the class “ended”. We were actually having fun.”
If you think your group or organization could benefit from communication coaching/team building this year, contact Colleen Callahan Consultancy.