Something I learned the hard way.
I am a certified trainer and have been giving training for last 3 and half years. I started with 20 people and once I gave an energetic motivation to an audience full of a cinema hall. More than 1000 people. It was a block buster. I made the audience jump and scream and shout it was surreal because it was the first of the kind I had given. I usually gave training to smaller audience till then and being a less aggressive was okay. This was a full cinema hall. I had to bring some energy. I had to as the other speakers were just speaking. I had to make them jump! They have come here to listen to me I must give them an experience that’s what I thought.
I had a full proof plan. First talk about how stories shape our thinking. It’s not our circumstance but what we tell ourselves that make us. I had the unbeatable story of Oprah Winfrey. She was born to a very young mother, was herself pregnant at 11 and her baby died. But she ended having one of the greatest life one could have. So it was not her circumstance but what she said to herself that defined her. At one point I had a pin drop silence while I was saying the story. A pin drop silence in a film hall full of people. It was beautiful. It was working. I was using a page from the playbook of Tony Robbins. He said this story and it worked for me. Thanks Tony.
I continued. Now I said the “Give me a Roar” story from again Tony Robbins’ Netflix documentary “I am not your Guru”. Which basically share a story of a lion which end up living with sheep and believes itself to be one of the sheep. It is quite dramatic I suggest you to go and watch it in YouTube. (Here the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yp8DFPtG2xw )
This is a very crude summary I recommend you go watch the video once you’ve done with this post J
The lion because it was with the sheep all along thought itself to be a sheep eat grass and all. Then one day a group of lion attack the sheep and tear them apart. In an instance all of his family members are killed by those lions. Then one of them ask him to eat the sheep. He denies “they are my family how can I eat? Plus, I am a vegetarian”. Hearing the bullshit, the lion shoves the meat into the young lion mouth.
Something magical happens in the mouth of the lion. He remembers what he is. As it went below the throat something inside of him explodes and for the first time in his life the Lion Gives a Big Fucking ROAR!!!
He finally remembers who he was. He finally realized his power!
Great story! Then as Tony does I asked the audience to Remember who there were and shout “Give me a Roar” The whole hall erupted. It felt like a rock concert. I said repeat after me “I am a Lion”. Again a huge roar saying that. It was so powerful.
You might ask what’s the thing I learned the hard way? This all seemed to have worked all smoothly.
That was just a prologue here’s what I learned.
As you might have guessed this works with people. If 1000 people were screaming with me. It only means one thing: It works!
So once I was called for a training at a college for Undergrad students. So you now know I had all the content. I will share the same piece exactly the same way. Oprah and then The lion story. At last will ask them for the roar. I will know then and there how touched they were by it.
So I did it exactly that and also said the story.
Then “Give me the roar”!!!
Nobody roared! I pushed give me a roar! Nobody roared! I was so embarrassed by it! I even saw a boy at the back smile! Fuck he is laughing at me! Then I managed it! Remember who you are and then went to share another story which I don’t remember and completed my talk!
I was shattered but more was embarrassed by it all. Why didn’t it work? That’s Tony Robbins’ method it should work. There were another talks then the program ended. I was given a token of appreciation. People clapped when I went to get it on the stage.
Still No learning.
The program ended. And as me, my wife and my brother were leaving, a student came up to me.
Asked if he could talk with me. I agreed and he said that he was very inspired by my talk.
I said thank you with a smile but kind of doubting him. I just failed and I know it.
Then we left had a lunch at a restaurant 3 of us and there my wife and brother said. The roar portion was a little awkward but the overall talk was good. I asked a few times and they said it was okay it was just that one portion was bad. After few times I agreed outside with them but inside I was not okay with it. Why wasn’t there a ROAR?
Here’s what I learned from this experience and it took me 3 more trainings to understand.
- Short term learning: I learned Roaring doesn’t work in a small group because there are some individual who could not roar and could affect the group dynamics. Never do such thing in a closed group because there’s often a leader and everyone looks up to them and if they didn’t do it the whole group are silent. I could see a guys during the talk with his breath held and eyes open wide. I knew he was touched by the story but because of the above factors he didn’t have the courage to show in front of the people he knew.
- Mid-term learning: This was not good enough for me to get closure in this experience. I started watching my mentor Jack Canfield’s training videos. All of them. To see if somewhere he’d share an insight to clarify it for me. Then in one of his video he taught about the importance of creating a safe space before a training. He gave an example of a military group and how he used various techniques like hi-fiving, hand shaking and hugging. We must first make a connection within the group and make it a space safe for them to express themselves. That was my mistake. I hadn’t made the space safer for people to express.
- The long term and the lasting learning: This happened after the third training form that day onward. It was for another bunch of students. I didn’t give the Oprah or Roar story. Because I hadn’t had the time to build the safe space. So I did something else. It was great to do. I could see people listening and taking notes. It was great to see. Everyone were doing the pen and paper exercise seriously. It also ended. I thought I killed it basically 😉 I always say my groups I will be staying if they had any query. And I am always the last to leave from the training room. I was hoping people would hoard me, because that’s what I thought, how it went. Finally, after almost everyone was gone a group of 2 guys and a girl came up to me and said they loved it. It was the best training they had among all the session in that 2-day event. I was the last trainer. The girl said she also wanted to be like me. How should she start. I gave her my bible. If you want to be like me. First read “The Success Principle by Jack Canfield” then practice in any group you can. Don’t wait for the large audience. Even I am still learning. After that I was returning to my room when the learning came to me. No matter how great of a training I gave only a certain percentage will be transformed. Even in those 1000 in the cinema hall a certain percentage were transformed. Even in that first student group a few percentages were influenced. Even here the same small percentage.
My job as a trainer was to go to as many places I could get the opportunity to go and be the one to say those things for those few percent who are ready to hear the truth. Only when the student is ready the teacher (the teaching) will appear.
-Your Awesomeness Coach