Monday 17th December 17:28

"If You Were a Superhero, What Would You Do?"

Hi everyone,

On a recent course I was taking, I had some moments while I was waiting for people to return from lunch, when I mentioned a radio survey I had been reading about in which people were asked what gift they would prefer to have if they had superhero status.

The question was, "If you had superhero status, would you rather be able to fly or be invisible?"

Much to my surprise, people started joining in quite animatedly and arguing for one gift or the other. Before long, as everyone returned, the whole group was joining in. The men in the group, in particular, liked the idea of being able to fly as they could get to places quicker, while the women in the group preferred the idea of being invisible, so they could listen in to other people's conversations or find out what their friends and partners were up to.

From this, the discussion widened into an even bigger debate about whether men were task-orientated and women were people-orientated; and whether men wanted to fly so as to be better than others and whether women wanted to be invisible because they lacked self-esteem.

I learnt a couple of things from this episode. First, you can always turn little snippets of time on a training course to good value. The second thing I learnt was to always have some fun group discussion topics handy. I've now started a swipe file of topics for this very purpose, the latest one being, "Which 3 characters from history would you invite to dinner and why?"

These little discussions can change the whole climate of a training course. They can unwind people, make them more relaxed, and help the learning process through self-reflection and open discussion.

I often think back to the group who first taught me this lesson and wonder what they are up to. If only I could fly to them and be invisible.

Best wishes,

Eric

ManageTrainLearn 2011