Thursday, 16 January 2014

Reluctance to change

The reluctance to change for the better, never fails to surprise ‘The Presenter’s Handbook’ team. It appears at times as if the term ‘Professional Development’ needs to come with a health warning. 

A case in point came from a business lunch recently attended, supported by the local chamber of commerce. A salesman from a sponsoring company was given the opportunity to address the 30 diners for between 5-10 minutes.  Seeing many presentations of this type, it was obvious from body language that the presenter was nervous from the outset.  As is natural in these circumstances a count started, listening for repeated words. These repeated words are one of the audible expression of presenter nerves.   

During the brief presentation the presenter mentioned the phrase ‘OK’ over 20 times. Over that short period of time this was the lasting memory of the presentation. It diluted the corporate message.
After the presentation an email arrived from the same presenter offering product support and thanks for attending the meal. 

As ‘The Presenter’s Handbook’ had spoken to the presenter prior to the meal, we offered the presenter some free support,  as we had new equipment to trial.  A win win situation – A presenter gets to improve their presenting skills, and we improve our product offering. The presenter though shied away from this opportunity.

This got us thinking – Why is professional development such a reluctant force?
This reluctance to change is inbred it seems. Many theories highlight this point. As humans we are bred to survive, accepting a sign a weakness is not in our nature.

Professional development does not have to be an admission of weakness though. It should be seen as a position of strength, wanting to progress and improve your standing. If you embrace professional development whilst others are standing still, who will be lower down the food chain? It certainly will not be those who embrace continual professional development.

The question is are you ready to embrace change in yourself or your organisation?