Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Get some trainin mate

I spent today attending two training courses. The first was something about corporate culture - "getting into the blue". Peoples' behaviour is set up into three sectors. Behaviour in the green sector is defensive, and contains things like avoiding responsibility and conflict. Then there is the red sector - things like competitive behaviour, power, perfectionism and so on - the Aggressive sector. Then the blue sector is about the positive things like encouraging others, etc. The company wants us to behave in the blue sector.

We all sit in a circle and this nice lady tries to get us to participate in the "interactive session". Some people join the action, but most of them sit there like they're in a wax-statue contest or something. Totally green behaviour, if you ask me.

This is all well and cute, but I don't know if you can apply things like this to change people's behaviour at the work place. The top 10% of well performing people in companies act mostly in the blue sector. The lowest 10% of badly performing people act mostly in the green and red sectors. Isn't this just how people are? You will always get the top performers and the non-performers, and the in-betweens. But I don't know if you can easily accept a corporate culture and hope everyone will act in this way?

You can influence people to think about the positive, constructive things, but I think most of these behaviours have been formed when these people were little toddlers and mommy and daddy was teaching by example or by reaction to your behaviour - if they were there to do that.

Anyway, the second course was a stunner in terms of boredom. I can't remember when was the last time I had to physically force my eyes open and rock my chair just to stay awake. We changed over to day-light savings time this Sunday, and that also didn't help. I have to get up an hour earlier every morning, and just like in good old Namiebiejah, I hate it.

This guy who is supposed to train us, is standing around, looking unhappy. He is acting in the green sector. "They" did not provide the computer and the other things that he needed.

We all are sitting around a conference table, waiting for him to start this most exciting safety course. This guy doesn't know how to get the PC and the projector going. Now here I witnessed an interesting Australian phenomenon: These Aussie males are a bunch of wimps. Except for Matthew, who jumped up to go and make some photocopies (because "they" didn't provide photocopies), the rest of these guys just sat there and stared at the lecturer. No one moved a muscle. The first one to provide help is a woman. I jumped and started to get the PC and projector going. The only one who helped me was the lady. The guys all just sat there and looked at us with a real "dof" expression on their faces.

Unfortunately that was where the excitement also ended for the day. This course was so boring, I actually nodded off a few times, until the lecturer asked me whether I was OK. Eish. We had to fill in an evaluation of the course. One question was: "what part of the course did you appreciate the most?" - my answer: The end, I was so glad when I could finally get out of this little room.

I have a whole bunch of training courses lined up for the next three months. You have to do a million courses every year as part of your duty. I am so thrilled!!!

Well, at least now I know that if there is a fire in the building, and I am right next to a fire extinguisher, I have to leave the extinguisher to a qualified trained employee and run like hell - because I have not been formally trained in the use of a fire extinguisher. Eish. This is what we were taught today. See what I mean?

As Obelix always says: these Aussies are crazy...

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