SEA Tutor Gill Dolphin reflects on a personal lollipop moment and suggests finding your own to finish up 2017 on a high note
Recently I was contacted by a fellow Tutor to give me some news about a learning programme we co-delivered well over a year ago.
He had bumped into one of our learners who told him how his experience of the Academy had affected his life...
After a rocky relationship with employment, he was now in a job where he'd begun to use the leadership knowledge and skills and had recently been told by his line manager that his department was out-performing the others. He was praised for his leadership and was able to tell his manager about the programme, what he had learned and how he had been using it – his time had come to be a confident leader, ready to share his knowledge with others.
For me, this was something that Drew Dudley calls ‘a lollipop moment’ – those moments in life where you find out what impact you have had on someone else.
It's not hard to be motivated by working with learners, but this year there has been an added extra for me. I have been involved in some design of our new programmes and the re-vamping of old faithfuls*. It's a challenging, rewarding process, requiring the best reflective practice, evaluating past programmes, working fully around the learning cycle, paying careful attention to the wider context and squeezing every drop of learning from our experiences.
At the Academy, we collect, collate and share evaluation in many ways, but none is as powerful, or as motivating as the direct feedback that we get from our learners. Stories touch us at a very primal level and they stay with us.
Of course, positive feedback is always good for self-esteem, but more importantly, it lets us know when we are on to something good. It is a fine basis for a strengths-based approach to getting stronger and better at what we do and to sharing it with even more people.
Had it not been for their chance meeting, neither myself nor my colleague would have been aware of the true effect of the programme, no matter how many evaluation forms we read. It was the story that made it real. Stories like this give us great insight into how small actions can make a huge impact – and a lot of leadership is made up of such small moments.
What have been your success stories this year? Who has been a part of that and might not know it?
Does one person stand out as someone that a small thank you or acknowledgment would give them a ‘lollipop moment’?
And finally, can you create a potential lollipop for someone - a small Christmas gift!
When I am sitting in front of my wood burner tomorrow, hot chocolate in hand, I may take a few minutes to indulge in the stories that motivate and the people to whom I really do owe a lollipop moment – warm glows all round!
* The Academy has revamped its leadership programmes for 2018 with inspiring new content to help you lead yourself, your teams and your organisations. Here are just a few of fantastic opportunities for early 2018!