Punching in Time

Bored at work

I gave two social media training sessions on consecutive afternoons this week to different groups from the same organisation.

Before the session began on the second afternoon I asked the organiser if there would be a coffee break – we had a lot of ground to cover and the previous day there was no break, which made it a tough three hour session for everyone concerned.

No, just keep going” she told me “everyone would prefer to finish up and leave as soon as possible

That’s strange ….

It was only then it dawned on me – the attendees were taking the course as part of their continuous development, which is required as part of their qualification. This is standard practice with a lot of professional bodies.

I asked a few questions at the beginning of the session to warm up the group and to establish exactly how much they knew about social media – not a whole pile as it turned out …this was going to be a tough session!

OK, we’ll all here (I had driven two hours to get here) so lets get stuck in and make the most of it..

Willie Sutton, The Famous Bank Robber

Willie Sutton, The Famous Bank Robber

I dug deep, I gave the session everything I had – I told them stories, I gave them examples, I kept the session as light and lively as possible, I related the topics to their jobs, I showed them how they could use it to win new business, I showed them how it could help them to get closer to their clients.

I even told them about the famous Irish/American bank robber, Willie Sutton!

They were a nice group and bit by bit I seemed to win over some of them; some of them were engaged in the topics and they were asking me questions and at least there were a few interested, nodding heads.

I drove on and before I knew it I realised it was 5:05 pm and I had ran five minutes over time.

“Ok guys, I have about 15 more minutes to go in order to finish the session. I’ll continue if you wish but if anyone wants to leave, I won’t be offended”

I was given the green light to continue but a few got up to leave – before I knew it I was left with about a quarter of the attendees. I continued with the session but I must admit that I was disappointed that more did not stay back.

The few that stayed were really appreciative that I punched in the extra effort and a few stayed back to ask me questions.

I packed up my things and headed to the car park to face the two hour drive back to Cork.

For two afternoons we all just punched in time …. they were there because they had to be, and I was there because they had to learn something and it may as well be social media.

While I was paid well for my time and I hope I did teach the few who wanted to learn it just felt pointless and I felt empty.

Life is way too short to be just punching in time.

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion offer social media consultancy and training in Ireland from our offices in Cork and Dublin

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12 Responses to “Punching in Time”

  1. JW McCabe Says:

    Isn’t it though. But, next time tell them upfront! If you don’t want too be here, then hit the door! I won’t be offended if you don’t want to stay for the party! Then bring the party!

    Showcase the Social Media course as the most entertaining and engaging ‘talk’ they have seen in a while or ever!

    Also, bring your own coffee,invest in a little capsules machines! Plug it in when u get there and serve it out. Have that initial interaction with them, so you are just not some well dressed Corkonian telling them one more thing, they have too do!

    I have drank far too much tea!

    Sent from my Fab Phone!! JW


  2. thephotographersguidetotravel Says:

    Great post Greg, some people would have been mega excited to spend 2 days talking about Social Media, I suppose it’s one of those cases of no passion, no interest!!!!!

    • Greg Canty Says:

      I have plenty of passion but I have to get something back !! Thanks for reading

      • John Jessop Says:

        Greg, I am exploring the ‘art of communication’ , an aware mind spots the suttle hidden aspects of a situation. A new role for comunicators, especially in Ireland is to inspire and transform other minds, it may not be what one is hired for but evolution sometimes needs a push.

  3. thephotographersguidetotravel Says:

    I can tell that from your post Greg 🙂 I meant ‘no passion, no interest’ from your audience, apologies for confusion 🙂

  4. Stefano Says:

    Great example and reading as always… maybe it should have been better checked with the management, if their employees were really motivated to have a lecture, and of what sort of and to what extent for their ordinary job.
    In my experience sometimes the management overrate the aim of teams to learn in an afternoon and the team are too shy to speak up their mind clearly.
    Therefore the compromise of “I wish to please my team” and “I’ll be polite with my management” served the mixed motivated audience.
    The coffee break refused by the management should have been a first red light on how to overrate the capacities of brains to keep their focus high after 18 minutes…

  5. John O'Sullivan Says:

    Did you feedback to the management that the evidence suggests that 75% of the attendees will have no interest in implementing what the learned?

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