One of my passions in life is to ski, my other passion is to help people to grow themselves and their understanding of self.
Snow camp is an innovative youth charity combining skiing, snowboarding and life skills to support and grow inner-city young people. The charity was started in 2003 with the aim to work with young people and to challenge their attitudes about themselves, create a sense of self-esteem and increase their aspirations to achieve in education, training and employment.
Snowcamps programmes range from a two day session which introduces young people to snowsports for the very first time, right through to the Snow-Camp Excel programme, training young people to be Level 1 instructors. Check out their website here
There is an apprenticeship scheme at Snowcamp. The apprenticeship is a nationally recognised training programme combining real work with learning and training, both on and off the job. Snow-Camp Apprentices, aged 16-20, learn on the job through a range of activities and placements and get paid while studying for an NVQ Level 2 Activity Leadership qualification
Awesome! Here is a charity growing and developing young people AND SOF can add value to the apprentices education and development. So last October we partnered with Snowcamp and ran two workshops. One was about self-awareness, communication styles and how people prefer to act and behave. The second was on facilitation and workshop design skills.
Insights was the tool we used to develop and grow self-awareness. There is a Young Adult Profile which is ideally suited for 16 to 19yr olds. Each apprentice received their own profile which they were then able to use to explain to others their preferred communication style, how they behave in a team and recognise how others may see them. A big aha moment was when one of the girls (a high introvert) exclaimed ‘oh I know why the boys irritate me now’. The boys in question had a lot of excitable extrovert energy which they found hard to contain, often blurting out the thoughts in their heads before considering others. Working with 5 young adults learn more about themselves and how to interact with one another more effectively was extremely rewarding. Running a workshop for these guys was certainly different to working with a global FMCG or a corporate bank. Their naïve energy and enthusiasm was refreshing, no cynical perspectives, a curiosity to know more.
The second workshop was created to support the apprentices deliver one hour training sessions to their peer group. It is part of the apprentices role to run ice breaker sessions for 40 people, teach them how to use their snowboards and skis, support and encourage the younger teenagers.
We put the apprentices through a series of exercises, asking them to present for 5minutes on a topic of their choice, giving them feedback and tips on delivery style, we discussed the benefits of creating a learning objective and the flow of an exercise. The group then had 90 minutes to design their session, create the relevant materials and practise.
I was blown away with their attitude to giving it a go. They were nervous, unsure and hesitant in the first place. With practise they started to get it. As a coach and facilitator it was rewarding to see young talent having a go.
So my question to you is how can you use your passion and skills to enable others to be great? How are you paying it forward in 2015?
A massive thank you to those who came to the breakfast meeting on Friday 6th March.
We were a mix of established long in the tooth trainers through to new to world individuals seeking inspiration and ideas. There was a self confessed interloper from a creative agency – Hamish Duncan, from Pennyblackcreative who then added lots of creative questions to the mix which had us all thinking.
Jo Bamford from Bacon6 asked a question around icebreakers which quickly threw up lots of thoughts, ideas and opinions! From the cringe factor to the benefits of getting people interacting and talking ice-breakers are a provocative topic. The headlines of the conversation are that first impressions count and how can you create a positive first impression with the delegates that engages them with whats to come? Bringing people into the room, the space and engaging them so that the activity works across all learners. My personal thoughts are that ice-breakers are not relevant if the design of the session has people interacting and on their feet within 10 minutes of arrival, you have made a personal connection with each person as they arrive and the activity is on topic.
The conversation then turned to how do you become a facilitator with the WOW factor. This is a conversation that could have run and run.
As a trainer you need to have the ability to adapt and flex your approach and style depending what shows up in the space. I recently heard a great phrase in relation to having Courageous conversations ‘create an outcome and then hold it lightly’. Be prepared to let go of the outcome if it does not serve the greater good of the conversation. I think the same is true when facilitating or training. It is very easy to design a solution and then hold on to it rigidly. Sometimes you need to stand in the knowledge that swaying from your original design will benefit the outcomes of the group. Remember its not all about you!
The creative then threw into the mix the concept of using flow and intuition when working with groups. How do you step into the zone? This is a subject very close to my heart and we will be exploring it in a breakfast meeting later this year. If you want to check out what flow is read Steve Kotlers The Rise of Superman or a quick read on wikipedia – Flow.
Its amazing what you can fit into 90 minutes. Please come and join our next breakfast meeting on 8th May, 8.30am @ Wallacespace, Covent Garden.