Post-its, flip charts and in person workshops are back 🎉 (as is flying ✈)
It’s Monday morning and I’m writing this blog from a hotel room in Munich.
This is the first foreign hotel I’ve stayed in for over 2 years but it’s not for a holiday; instead I’m in the city to facilitate a client workshop and it’s weird to say that I’m a little bit nervous. I was actually nervous last night when I boarded my first flight in over 2 years (hard to believe when there were periods of my life when I’d take 6–8 flights in a week) but today is a different type of anxiety.
I’m nervous because I’ve completely gotten out of the habit of airports, flying and the work away culture (in the last 2 years I have almost exclusively ran workshops and training sessions virtually).
What if it doesn’t go well? What if I get my timings all wrong? What if I forget to take liquids out of my bag? So many things to think about…
It’s only natural to feel this way and I’m sure it’ll all go well. Why can I be confident?
Well in the last 2 weeks I’ve been doing more and more face-to-face client work. There was a strategy away day for a new healthcare start up client, an influencing skills training course for an establised professional services client and a change/teaming session for a new consumer products client.
Pardon my language but it’s been bl00dy brilliant to be back in the groove. Yes, I love remote facilitation (it’s actually really effective if you’ve honed your skills) but the chance to meet people in person, to do face-to-face icebreakers, to read the reaction to what’s being said, to pace a room whilst talking (ok, maybe that last one is a bit weird) are all things I love about my job.
The best bit I’ve discovered about coming back to in person facilitations is that you can use all the fantastic digital ways of working in the session as everyone is an expert at these. The tricky bit is that even the most seasoned pro has lost the practice of paying attention for long periods (yes, I’ve observed some fascinating behaviours in the sessions I’ve run; I mean you really shouldn’t watch a video you just received on your phone during a workshop 🤦🏻♂️).
Let’s hope my session today goes well, and that I don’t screw up my flight back… 😬
[as a side note, my flight last night was super smooth. No queues and even didn’t have to take any liquids or laptops out of my bag. Maybe flying has improved during Covid]