By Barry Larson
I recently attended the June dinner meeting for our local chapter of ASTD (American Society for Training and Development). Knowing the room was full of training practitioners and the keynote speaker was Bob Pike, aka “Train-The-Trainer Guru,” being a lonely sales guy, I was anticipating a very technical presentation that I could only hope to follow. Who would have guessed that I would have walked away with meaningful life lessons?
The title of Bob Pike’s presentation was “11 Ways to Survive & Thrive in Turbulent Times.” No one disagreed that we are deep into turbulent waters, so Bob Pile observed that “rising tides float all ships.” It’s in the tough times you need to ensure that your ship is sound to weather the storm, so that by working on yourself and focusing on others’ needs, we can all succeed during these rough times.
Now, I’m not the best note taker, so I can’t be sure that I counted 11 techniques. No matter – what I took away were some important lessons on how to survive and thrive in turbulent times:
- Work on your interpersonal skills. These are the assets that sustain you throughout your career, and in particular, focus on listening skills. “The awesome power of the listening ear,” was a phrase expressed by Bob Pike. Listening differentiates you from the noise in the world. You’ll be ready to respond more effectively when someone needs to be heard.
- Become a life-long learner. Actively seek knowledge of your industry, your client’s company and industry, new skills – whatever. Learning keeps you sharp and helps you think more strategically. As Bob says, “Don’t learn to pass [the test]; learn for living.”
- Become a trusted advisor:
- Earn trust – make small promises and keep them. Bob says, “Promise much, deliver more, and do it consistently.”
- Provide advice based upon what someone needs; not what you get out of it.
- Build relationships – deepen your network by providing value for someone.
This inspirational session closed with a message of appreciation. When Bob asked the group if anyone was over-appreciated, not a single hand was raised. He cautioned us not to let a generous impulse pass, as “the greatest need for every human being is appreciation.” After a few heartfelt personal stories by Bob Pike, I could see a few teary eyes among the audience members. It was clear people were taking the message to heart.
Well, thanks, Bob Pike. I truly appreciate the wisdom of your teaching.