If you’re feeling jaded then you’re not alone, if you’re feeling like you’re on a train that just keeps passing the same places you’re not alone, and if you’re feeling like ‘been there, done that ad infinitum’ then you are not alone.
The problem though is that the jaded, cynical, or bored delegates I see on my training courses have seemingly often lost the ability to do what it takes to turn things around for themselves. To find the fun again, to do what they find interesting, to learn new skills. So even when they are presented with the opportunity to learn and develop, which in turn could open up new opportunities and ideas, their state of mind prevents them from doing so. It’s a real shame.
Last week I had one delegate on a development course who failed to make any eye contact with me across the entire training day. She even sat hunched over. Her whole body language screaming ‘I don’t want to be here’. Not surprisingly in her feedback form where it asked ‘what did you learn?’ She wrote ‘nothing’
Of course, it was nothing. She was never going to learn. Her weariness meant that her ears were shut and her mind was closed.
So last week I failed to make any impression. That’s so frustrating. But I’m not going to beat myself up about it.
But just leaving her to her own devices I think is a problem. For as well as the profound impact on her own wellbeing, weariness is catching. Cynicism spreads fast. People who are fed up suck out the positive energy from the room and that impacts us all.
So either we can berate her and lecture her or we can see if there is another way.
On a recent trip to Hong Kong, I was fortunate to be invited to look around a beautiful Buddhist monastery. Thank you, Wei Wei! You were a magnificent guide. As we walked around I saw an inscription that read ‘compassion and wisdom are the ultimate goals for all of us’.
So with compassion in mind and the little wisdom I have developed across my life during my first 50 years, I think all organisations ought to think about running regular workshops for the weary and jaded and for those staff who aren’t sure if they are on the right career path anymore.
You might say why should they bear the cost, but the reality it probably costs more to retain and manage someone who is weary and cynical than to support them with training to identify what they really want and in doing so, give them a helping hand towards the next stage of their life.
My training solution would be to help them identify their priorities, help them understand what they value in life and how they like to be valued and understand what their strengths and talents are and how those can be utilised to achieve what will make them smile again.
For surely life is too short not to smile and laugh out of sheer pleasure of doing the work we do?
And if, with your commercial hat on, you’re wondering whether you might find that staff resign their jobs after attending this sort of training… well better that they resign than you put up with years of their misery or otherwise the hassle and risk of having to sack them.