Be Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

I ran out of words, tongue-tied and I can not defend and explain myself and so with my answers. That’s what happened when I was interviewed and presented my case study when I applied for a higher position at work.

I wasn’t nervous and I wasn’t the same person I used to be. I think no one can make me that nervous anymore (unlike before). And I’d give the credit to that full year of roller coaster ride at work. At some point, I thought I was ready to step up and receive more responsibility. Just thinking about it was surreal but after those series of assessments, I realize I am not.

Those assessments I believe is not for the company to gauge your skills, decision-making and conviction but it’s for the candidate to know his/her readiness to face the upcoming stress/stressors that will come their way ahead.

It was never about position for me, It was about honing more people to become a better version of themselves. I imagine training trainers and those trainers will eventually train more people – not only with skills but also with the right attitude and behavior – thinking that I’d be able to share my life learning excites me. But I have to be aware that it is not a perfect world. There is black and there is white. Sometimes, gray must also be considered.
I even bought this book (How to Influence People by John Maxwell) to prepare but the more I immerse myself into it, the more I am realizing how inept I am just yet. I even didn’t finish the book because I have yet to know more strategies for myself before mentoring other people. If I mirror myself now, I realize, I’d be creating a person that is not yet so prepared.  I know I am not yet ready for something bigger not because I don’t deserve it but because I have to experience more and have a full grasp of my own management style and personality.

I have realized a lot of loopholes that I have yet to fill in.

 Thinking how my interview went still gave me headache and as we know, truth hurts and I am still hurt (and trying to move on) knowing my inabilities and incompetence.
On the other hand, I will always be thankful that I went thru that process because now, I know how it feels like to be “grilled” and get to see how I management myself when I am stressed.
If there is one triumph I get to claim after those events, I can now say, I am becoming comfortable being uncomfortable. That I can handle myself and I still have my calm persona in any situation. That I can still clearly think (though not fully explain myself) when placed in stressful situation.
I can not be more thankful for that experience and now, I have to start filling those loopholes and again, becoming a better version of myself will always be my goal in life. I don’t care how many version will I end up becoming but I know for sure, it will lead to where I should be and I will continue to work hard to be that person I always dreamed to be.

Why Training?

My very first exposure to the the training world was in 2008 when I worked as an English tutor for Koreans. My first ever mock call was nerve wracking and the rest of my 20 wave mates was able to hear and listen to my scared and nervous voice. During that time, I wish I’d just disappear because of too much public embarrassment. Though my voice is one of my strength, I have no idea what was happening during that 10 minute mock call – I had a mental breakdown.

In that few weeks, we had mouth and jaw exercises, practiced vowels and fricatives, and that might be the time, I fell in love with training.

After a while, I quit my job and tried my luck as a nurse – which I failed that lead me back to the corporate world. When I entered the BPO industry, my then trainer Julie was so awesome! She’s so smart and has excellent communication, teaching, typing, navigation skills and to add up, she’s so pretty. That time, I told myself, I want to be like her. Her style of teaching fascinates me. She has the authority, command presence, very respectable but at the same, has that friendly and cool aura.

During that time, Gossip girl was also a hit series and I admit, I always mimic Kristen Bell’s way of saying the Gossip girl introduction and my hobby of watching American TV series has really affected the way I speak and that might have been the best accidental training I gave myself.

Finally, after leaving my first BPO company, I met my three trainers in my job now – Mitch, Odeng and Edz. That was the time, I concluded and told myself – by hook or by crook, I will become a trainer. That has been my goal since I worked in my company and was the reason why I promised myself – I’ll always do good.

“I want to be a trainer. That is final.”

I love meeting new people and training phase is the time when you’d concentrate more on the quality over quantity. It is the easiest part, yet, is the most essential because that is where they’d be baptized and when they’d be initiated. All our firsts would always be memorable.

Being their trainer is like being their birth mom. You have to imbibe them the right process flow and at the same time, instill the values that they’d be able to get and show them the right attitude too. Sometimes, you have to make them believe in themselves especially if they doubt themselves too. I don’t usually restrict my trainees to commit mistake because that how they will learn. Most of the time too, I’d restrict myself to do the task for them because if I let them depend on me, I know, I didn’t become an effective trainer for them – it means, I didn’t serve them well.

“The mission in a training session is  to teach the attendees to be able to do something with the ultimate goal that the attendees will be able to do that thing tomorrow and forever more correctly and without supervision.” – Carlton Casler

Being a trainer is both difficult and fulfilling. During the first few classes I had, letting them go was the hardest because you had been with them for a few months, taught them a lot of things and at the right time, you have to let them go and let them do their work and you have to let them spread their wings and fly. You’d endorse them to the real thing – their jobs.

When you’re a trainer, no matter how much I despise the idea, people will perceive you as perfect person – excellent communication skills, patient teacher, friendly, smart and a lot more over-the-top expectations that I doubt I have. I too, would tell my trainees that I am not perfect and I may commit mistakes too.

One of the hardest part of being a trainer is when you know you are being criticized from head to toe – from the time you open your mouth to the moment you said your last hello to them as your trainees. It took me time to get used to people staring and judging me. I think it’s part of the job description.

But, why do I love it?

Because it’s an avenue for me to spread positivity and I’d be able to teach other people some skills my former trainers taught me. It’s like honing people to be a better version of themselves. My trainees’ “thank you” every after shift is like music to my ears and their smiles would always melt my heart.  I know, that after their time with me, they’d learn something that can not be stolen from them; that I was able to impart a part of me to a group of strangers that I know soon, will become my friends.

My training room is my theater and my training time is my performance that I offer to my trainees. They’d thought that I am the star in every training session. Where in fact, it was them. They are the reason why I have a job and the reason why I enjoy it every time. That no matter where you are from, I know, I’ll learn something from them, I’d be able to teach and inspire them and in return, they’d also inspire me too with their stories and their true personality.

Our memories as part of my team (even for a short time), I know will somehow make a mark in their hearts just like how my training days created an impact in my life.

Being part of the training team keeps me on my toes. I am not allowed to slack off because I have an audience that will judge me, thus puts pressure on me. And I know, I’d be able to work better under pressure, for some reason, all the potential energy in me would be transformed to a kinetic and working energy.

Though it was a tough job to beat, it was something I’d always be proud of. I hope to have more audience and spread more good vibes in the future. I’d always thank God for the opportunity He has given me to change lives and perspectives of people. 🙂