Tomorrow, I will be launching my first virtual session of Move Up/Manage Right. I never would have considered doing this, had I not failed in my attempt to cross the Canadian border and deliver a live session of this program. That whole ordeal is something for another post. For now, let’s focus on how I was able to turn what could have been a huge failure into success.
After being denied access into Canada, I was left with a room full of students waiting for my arrival. Fortunately, a colleague was presenting another program at the same hotel and was able to set up her laptop so that I could present virtually. I had never facilitated a training program virtually and had no idea how this was going to go. All I knew was that I had no choice but to give it my all. The two day virtual program turned out to be a huge success! Here’s some lessons learned:
Your better at doing things than you think. I’ll be the first to admit that technology for me is a double-edge sword. I try to embrace new technology, as I find the potential exciting, yet I do so with one hand on my cell phone waiting to call the troops in for help. We certainly had some blips during our two-day session, due to poor Wifi in the hotel meeting room where the class was in attendance, but by the end, we took the situation and used it as a case-study on what to do as a leader when the unexpected occurs. This session wound up being one of our highest rate programs. I guess I’m better at using technology than I think. I also learned that providing people high levels of value is much more important than trying to dazzle them in the classroom.
No one expects perfection. As a consultant, you always want to give your clients your best work. It took me a while to figure this out, but that doesn’t necessarily mean your clients expect perfection. Things happen. It’s how you recover that matters most. We thought some people would be demanding refunds or choosing not to return the second day because of my travel snafu. In anticipation, we decided to offer everyone downloads to recorded teleconferences of their choice. I also offered participants a complimentary coaching session to ensure they received personal time with me. Much to our surprise, not one person requested an adjustment and everyone returned for day two.
Mistakes can be a great launching platform. A year ago, I was asked to facilitate a virtual training program for Suddenly in Charge. I came up with a million reasons why this would never work. I did so out of fear. Who would want to attend such a program? Don’t you have to connect with people one-on-one in order for them to learn? What happens if the technology fails? Tomorrow, I am letting caution fall to the wind. I’m going to log into the system and connect with participants from all across the country. I know that by the end of our fourth session, they will be better prepared, than they are today, to lead their people. Am I afraid this will fail? Absolutely not and if it does, I’m certain I can turn that failure into success as well.
I hope you’ll consider joining me virtually or in New Orleans for the next Move Up/Manage Right session.