Yesterday Roger, who is one of my associates, came to observe me delivering a course called Courageous Conversations. The final module of the course is about coaching, and as Roger is one of the best coaches I know, I asked him if he’d like to facilitate that part of the course.
Watching Roger facilitating my course design was fascinating. One or two of the things he did, I thought: Wow, that’s great, I’ll use that next time. But to be honest, four or five of the things he did, my thoughts were: he’s not doing that so well; he’s taking too long to explain that; he’s not done that demo as well as I would have done. I’ve probably delivered Courageous Conversations more than fifty times with a wide range of groups, and it gets pretty wonderful feedback, so I guess I’ve become a bit protective of how it’s delivered.
But here’s the thing: when it came to the debrief at the end of the coaching module, the participant comments were amazing. For a couple of people in particular, those 45 minutes with Roger were truly life changing. Whatever Roger did, it certainly inspired some very powerful learning.
So what did I learn from Roger yesterday? Firstly, how easy it is to assume that your way is best – especially when you’ve got a lot of experience. Secondly, what really matters is results. If someone else’s way of doing it produces better results, it’s worth challenging your assumptions about how it should be done and learning from them.