It was time for the morning break. I concluded the session, and sent the participants to get some refreshment. As they were filing to leave the room, one of them came up to me.
“You remind me of so-and-so,” he said, naming one of our former senior trainers. “What is your relation to him?”
I was quite taken aback by this unexpected statement. One, the person he mentioned was a trainer well known for his humorous way in teaching, Two, I only had one opportunity to teach with him, so there was no chance for me to imitate or take one or two ‘trainer tricks’ from him. Three, I never considered myself to be a humorous person. For all I know my specialty was to put the class to a relaxing slumber during my delivery.
“I’m afraid I don’t have any relations with him,” I admitted.
“But your teaching style is somewhat like him. Are all of you guys are like that? I mean, smart?”
“Well, we trainers were similarly trained,” I said.
He was one of the class joker, so I couldn’t say whether he was being serious. But since he said that personally instead in the middle of a session, as jokers are apt to do to get a laugh, I suppose it wasn’t meant to be funny.
Looking back to that moment, I am more concerned with how I mentally responded. Why was it difficult for me to believe what he said? Am I such a bad trainer that it would not be possible for me to be seen as equal to a more experienced person? Why is it hard for me to believe that I may have achieved a higher level of teaching skills?
I know I still have a long way to go to be an exceptional trainer. And to be frank, I am not so sure that I want to make it a professional goal in the first place.
But I suppose it’s OK to give yourself a little pat in the back once in a while. Celebrating some achievements are important, whether it’s a big, small or even unwanted, just to let yourself know that you are really doing something useful in your life.
So I will take it as a compliment and revel in it for a while.