A week in the life of me......

Published on November 12, 2016

Hi everyone. We have just celebrated our first birthday and one common question that  Dawn and I are regularly asked is  – “How are things in self employment?”.  “Good” is always our reply without going into too much detail so I thought I would treat you to “A week in the life of me!!   MidasWorks Training Director”.  This week has been very busy so it started on Saturday.  In self employment you work when there is work to be done! 

Saturday – I receive an email from a contact asking if I could deliver a two hour stint on communication and team work at his team meeting on Thursday.  Delighted to be asked to do this session so full steam ahead to get everything prepared on time.  Yikes – this was just about insufficient time to enable me to panic to the desired level!  I fire off some questions to him and start to do some background research into the organisation and start reading a range of strategic reports and updates.  I am so grateful for Google!  It is important to us that we give each client our full commitment to ensure complete satisfaction.  Every training episode is carefully planned to ensure each client gets exactly what they want and not what we think they want!

Sunday – as it’s a busy week ahead, I work Sunday and am proud that by 4pm I have completed three little piles of prepared work marked with stickies Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  This leaves me a bit of time to revisit the Thursday session.  On this occasion, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday needed a wee bit of pulling together as most of the work had been done but, after that, full focus had to be on Thursday.  A new client with an important team building event = top priority.

Monday – I have a meeting with a new client today.  The client is keen to see our training room.  Absolutely no problem.  We are very proud of our room.  It is exactly what we need with large tv, white wall, plenty car parking availability, flexible seating for circa 12 people and a kitchen area.  It is a comfortable environment for clients to come to.  We are very grateful to Montrose Port Authority for allowing us to rent this room and being very flexible with our bookings.  I pick up the keys early as I want to check the heating in the room is just right for our client coming, I need to upload a Midasworks Info Powerpoint on to the tv and I also want to check that the sound is all ok for showing a video on Wednesday.  Just as I arrive at the room, I get a call from the client to say that something has cropped and they need to rearrange.  Oh well – no harm done at least I managed to check out the heating and video.  Both working perfectly but always good to double check.  On the way back to return the keys, I pop into “Good Food To Go”.  They will provide our lunches for Wednesday.  I had left a voicemail but just wanted to double check all was ok.  Just as well I did as the owner hadn’t been able to access my voicemail.  Phew – that was lucky.  It is a disaster if the lunch doesn’t come!   

Tuesday – Off to Dundee for a 1:1 coaching session with a client.  I am delighted when employers make workplace coaching available to their employees.  Coaching supports and enhances employee performance and development.  I have worked with this client for a wee while now and I am delighted to see that she is making good progress and feeling the benefit from the one hour session that I have with her.  With a promise to see her again in 4 weeks, I leave her revitalised and ready to face new challenges.  Tuesday night is spent double checking all the materials and training plan is ready for tomorrow’s Introduction to Leadership session.

Wednesday – Today – Day 2 Intro to Leadership.  Unfortunately, one of the group isn’t managing to attend due to illness.  This is a shame but she sent me a nice email to say that she had thoroughly enjoyed the previous session but, understandable that when she is off work she can’t come to training.  The Intro to Leadership workshops are great.  You never know what is going to come up and you have to make adjustments to your plans to ensure that you are covering what the delegates need and, again, not what you think they need!!  On Day 1, the members of this group had asked that I give them some help in approaching difficult conversations and, to some extent, dealing with conflict.  The training plan included watching a couple of videos, filling in some Q & A worksheets and case studies.  At the end of the session, the delegates are feeling more confident that they can deal with the next issue that may arise.   I am careful to advise them though that some conflict in the workplace can be healthy in getting to a solution.  Constructive conflict as opposed to deconstructive conflict.  They leave the session delighted with their MidasWorks certificates and Animal Calendars and a reassurance from me that they can contact me at any time if something crops up that they want some advice on.  Quick squint at the evaluations shows that everyone enjoyed the course (phew!) and found it “interesting, fun, informative and engaging”.  Wednesday night is spent with more checking of the prep work for Thursday morning.  It is going to be an early start so I try to get to bed early!

Thursday – Set off from home at 7.45am this morning as the traffic can be particularly bad at this time of day.  I arrive at 9, one hour before my starting time of 10 so plenty of time to set the room up and make sure all the handouts are ready to go.  Double check the presentation and, finally, go over the Lesson (Training) Plan to make sure that I am clear about what we were doing.  A bit nervous about the ice breaker this morning – building a tower with spaghetti and marshmallows.  It is one that we used a lot in the college but not one that I have tried myself but it was one that I chose as it seemed to suit the group of 26 participants.  I needn’t have worried – it was a laugh, everyone was engaged and it generated the required amount of healthy rivalry between the teams.  The ice was broken  I was ready to introduce discussions on what was working well in the service and to broach the subject of what could be done to improve the way that things are done.  The two hours flew in.  Before we knew it we were designing a team shield which led nicely on to lunch.  I am a great reflector of my training style and yes there were things that could have been improved but, on the whole, a good introductory session with this group.   On my way home, I meet up with an ex-work colleague.  For me it is important to remember those that helped me during my career as Manager of the Business Team at the college.  They were dear friends at that time and still are.

And, before we know it, it is Friday – as I had prepared for my rearranged meeting on Monday nothing to prepare for this afternoon’s meeting.  Time now for a bit of catching up with the emails.  A few enquiries in – one query for training in building self confidence and assertiveness, another for team development and one for excel training.  Just back from the meeting with my new contact and it went very well indeed.  There are people working in training and development that you just click with.  When discussing quality you are on the same wave length, when you are talking about team development they are fully in agreement with the steps to be taken and when you are talking about training you are talking about what this means in detail and how to evaluate and measure the impact on both the employee and organisation.  It is not just a tick box exercise!  A great meeting and I look forward to working with this client in the future. 

So that is my working week this week.  Certainly busier than some weeks but exciting times.  It is also very heartening that many of our clients are returning with other training requests.

Next week is going to be quieter so it will be time to reflect on our targets for this year.  I also need to look at cpd opportunities for myself.  I have signed up to participate in a couple of webinars next week.  One on development of online materials and another on the latest leadership approaches.  I will also spend some time looking at promotion of courses that are coming up and maybe get round to writing a newsletter ……. Much needed!!!

Dawn has also been busy this week.  One of Dawn’s key strengths is the development of the MidasWorks qualification portfolio.  This week she has been busy following up enquiries for the PDA Management.   This PDA is an online qualification that is suitable for supervisors or first time managers.  It follows a blended learning approach to delivery which suits many in the workplace and Dawn, as a highly experienced International External Verifier is the best person to undertake this role.  Dawn has also been developing the L & D 9 & 11 Awards.  These are the qualifications for assessors and verifiers in the workplace.  We believe there are further SQA qualifications that we need to look at so watch this space for exciting news in the next few weeks.  Dawn has also been busy with CPD and has recently completed a course on understanding the importance of recognising dyslexia in the workplace and how to put in place the level of support required for both the employee and employer. 

Please remember that we are always happy to answer any questions that you might have about training and development, qualifications, bespoke training or just general enquiries.

And now it is the weekend.  I bought an Itison Voucher for a night at the Malmaison Hotel with prosecco afternoon tea so couple that with some Xmas shopping (a wee bit) and I have the ideal Sunday.

Have a good weekend folks.


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