It’s easy to be one of the snarky, cool kids in the back of the room during a leadership training. To pick at some of the more banal ideas or the blatant buzzword-blather being presented. Some programs are better than others, and all programs have their flaws, and there’s nothing more fun that wallowing in some snark with a few friends. Right?
And yet, that’s not getting you anywhere. To begin with, you’re probably annoying the crap out of the presenter and the folks who put on the training — because no matter what you think, you’re not any sneakier about joking around or using your phone in the training than your students are when you’re teaching. But you’re also not opening yourself up to the good potentials for the day.
So, why skip the snark and engage with the training?
- You Need Time To Reflect – If you’re in a position of authority over projects or people, you make important decisions all day long — and your interactions with those teams ripple out and live on beyond the moment. What any leadership program can give you is a chance to spend some time thinking about and reviewing the way you make those decisions, and how you interact with those teams. They’ll give you a few new lenses to use to examine those interactions and decisions — and even if you don’t find the presented ideas useful, taking deliberate time to think about your leadership decisions is never a bad idea — it will always help you make better choices in the future.
- You Need to Build Relationships – In a typical leadership training, you’re surrounded by peers — either from within your organization or from the outside. But every one of those people in your group is a potential ally or connection for the future. Take the time to show them what you’re capable of, and appreciate their contributions.
- People are Watching – Even in times or places where there are no explicit observers or reports back to your organization’s leadership about what went on in a particular leadership training, there are always the unofficial reports and observations being made. Decisions are always being made about whose leadership abilities will be important to the organization in the future — and when those decisions are being made, do you want to be the one they remember as sniggering into your iPhone for half the day? Probably not.
So, save the snark. Go out for a drink after the session and vent it all then. And have a good time with the new friends you made at the training.
And tip well, damn it.