For the last three days I have been attending training on ‘Leading Scientific Teams’. Sigh.

I should say that it was a good course and the instructors were excellent. I probably even learned a thing or two. But.

First thing we did was go around the room and introduce ourselves, give a synopsis of our level of leadership, and then say something that we are proud of. Blurgh.

Then over the next three days we broke into discussion groups, wrote on flip charts, appointed a spokesperson, reported back. Again and again and again. Does anyone else hate this kind of format for learning like I do? For the extreme introverts among us, we are so worried about who will have to stand beside the flip chart, deciphering the ideas that everyone launched at the poor scribe, that we cannot focus on the task at hand.

In contrast, I’m taking a writing course through the local board of education. I wondered ahead of the first class would we have to introduce ourselves and talk about what writing experience we had? Perhaps tell everyone what we ate for lunch, or our favourite author? No such nonsense, of course. Happiness when the instructor started right in to teaching us. Real information being directed to the class of students. It was wonderful.

I know that I learned so much more in four hours of sitting in an uncomfortable school desk while being absolutely captivated learning about writing techniques than I did in 22.5 hours of instruction over three days of exercise-based training. Maybe that means I’m more interested in being a writer than a leader, but I think the fact that I could truly focus on the material was a bit part of that too.

Writers are good people.

Well, this is clear.

About Finola

I am an Ottawa area Mom, writer-want-to-be and coffee legend in the making.
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8 Responses to Leadership

  1. I am an extrovert and I too hate that type of time-wasting learning. I love a good old-fashioned lecture-style lesson with opportunity for question, answer and possibly debate. I have no idea what the “one thing you are [insert proud, excited, happy] about” tells you about anyone.

    • Finola says:

      That’s so interesting to hear from the extrovert’s perspective. Perhaps this whole flip chart idea is just the flavour of the month and will be out of style soon enough. We can hope.

  2. Laurie says:

    I have been searching for a good writing course in the city…And yes, context is everything. I hate breaking down into small groups of strangers…

  3. Jenn N =) says:

    Hit the nail on the head again! While I may appear to be an extrovert, I am actually a closet introvert (that’s kind of funny out loud!) and I DREAD the ‘introduce yourself’ routine…

  4. Finola says:

    I can see you as an introvert Jenn. You’re very sociable, but I can see you needing your time for you.

  5. Sasha says:

    There is SOOOO much I want to say in response to this that there’s a gridlock in my brain. Apologies in advance if I comment bomb once (somewhat) fully formed thoughts finally start popping out.

    • Sasha says:

      You know, it’s funny. Teaching is what brings out my inner extrovert. (Well, that and social media :). And effective teaching (and leadership) is about using the right tools for the job. “Experiential learning” (if that’s what they’re calling it these days) has a place, but all by itself? It’s a way of cementing what you’ve learned by putting it into practice. You have to learn it, first.

      My two cents.

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