I had a rather challenging but positive International Women’s Day.
I spent it at the Harris Girls’ Academy East Dulwich delivering three workshops on marketing planning. It was part of the schools Business Day in celebration of International Women’s day. The workshops were to help the girls promote the schools social enterprise HOPE (Helping Other Promoting Enterprise)
As always I was rather nervous about running the workshop, even more so because it would be to a group of teenage girls in a school which used to have a quite a bad reputation.
The first group of girls were ok, they generally participated in discussions, responded to questions, understood most of the points I was trying to put across. They clapped and said thank you at the end of the session.
The second group were very good. Very smart bunch. They understood everything (mostly) that I put to them. Responded to my questions and tasks with vigour – two girls in the front in particular, so much so that I had to ignore them at times and ask some of the girls at the back! They challenged me and I challenged them back. It was a really good session. Afterwards they said thank you miss and left the room.
The last session was the worst. They wouldn’t stop talking, they were arguing with each other. Didn’t do many of the tasks they were set. One of the girls looked like she was sleeping – I pulled her up on that! Towards the end of the session the loudest and most disruptive girl on the group – the one I thought hadn’t grasped or understood a single point I had made – started asking some really interesting questions about the topic my business and what I do, and my career path etc. It took me aback.
At the end the group clapped and cheered me – honest it was for me not the fact that the workshop had ended! Then they filed out of the room and I heard one of them saying, “yeah that session was LIVE!”
That off the cuff comment completely made my day!
Business Lesson: When you think you are making the least impact, rest assured that people are listening, people are taking note. Your message is getting through, more so than you think.
Keep on conveying that message.