As we look to grow our reach in this ever-changing digital world, we should consider taking it back to the basics. I am talking when phones were attached with a cord, a paper map took you across the country and your cassette tape had to be flipped over halfway through. Might you consider the 3 building blocks to grow your reach: Talk, Listen and Ask Questions and Share. Now before you say you’ve heard it before, consider the digital world we are in and pause to reflect if you as a trainer have taken it back to some of the basics in order to better understand your clients. Implementing these three foundational blocks should bring your clients to a place of flexibility and openness, and those two qualities make for a great client-trainer relationship. As simple as it sounds, sometimes we all need this reminder.
Talk: When is the last time you took a few moments to just talk with a client? Recently, the digital world has become one of the main ways we communicate. Last fall, the thought of “Distance Learning” and a young child on a video conference call was hard to imagine; now it is our reality. Face masks and social distancing have changed the way we do life. Taking those extra moments to talk and connect with our clients might make all the difference in the world. Give a few moments of your own time to open new lines of communication. It has been said that, the time you put in talking and gaining a foundation of likeness and differences with a client will directly impact the success of a training.
Listen: Call it what you may, it could be insecurity, it might be a task orientated person, or it just might be a habit, nonetheless it can be hard to truly listen. This means we put aside our own thoughts and ideas and leave space to hear and understand what the client is saying. Hear the tone, the emotion (or lack of) and allow space for silence as you take it all in. Make notes on the digital areas the school is engaged in, listen for their desires and dreams as they move forward into new territory. Marketing yourself in this current state it is critical to listen to your clients. We are all navigating new waters and the more we listen the more we will know and understand how to best serve them.
Ask questions and Share: Once a client feels heard, there is a shift that takes place in their mind. Feeling heard allows space for flexibility and openness; two things we value greatly in clients. Ask questions about their digital learning celebrations and what their desires are for the coming months in the virtual learning environment. Be a person in their corner, share ideas and dream big with them. As you ask questions this is now the time to offer up what you have found works well. Be open to new ideas and stretch yourself as a trainer, after all we should never stop learning. Swing wide the door of communication dear GLAD trainer; growth and success are just on the other side.
We are passionate about Project GLAD; we know it works and we want to share it. Student and educator successes drive our model. You can grow your reach, yes you, even in a digital world! It might be simpler than you realize. Consider the 3 building blocks, as a tool in your belt. Go back to the basics and meet clients where they are at. Reach out to others, take risks and be kind- success is just on the other side.
Sarah Banks- Field Consultant