A Completely Different Person

Completely New PersonAlthough a lot has changed over the last year and a half of FIT Team training for me, little of it is concrete or easily defined.  Unlike other FIT Team members, I haven’t changed jobs and haven’t had any major life changes.  I feel like a completely different person.  I’m more confident, more outspoken, and more forgiving of myself which is a result of my time on the FIT Team.  I really think a couple of experiences provide the best example of how I’ve been helped by the training we went through and the team that formed.

Part of our facilitation training experience was practicing new skills.  It was made clear from the beginning that we were expected to practice the skills learned in our training sessions.  During our first session I finally got up the nerve and volunteered to facilitate for the group.  Everyone had been given situations to facilitate.  Since I had waited so long to get my nerve up, Sam McBane Mulford and Cheryl Gould, our trainers, decided to step up the game.  Although I wound up facilitating a question just like everyone else before me, my audience members had been given a persona to act out.  I worked hard to try and get them to participate.

It went terribly.

I felt like I had failed in front of all my co-workers whom I greatly respected.  I was on the brink of tears during my feedback session.  However, the feedback I received from my colleagues was so gracious.  Sure, there was some focus on what I could have done differently.  What I remember most though is the positive strokes everyone offered by telling me how strong I was to keep going through the hard facilitation.

Jump forward a year to August 2014.  While I was running a planned facilitated meeting for OPL staff, I found myself shorter on time than anticipated.  Our activities took longer than planned.   Some of my interactions with the group were not ideal.  It certainly wasn’t going as I’d planned. But I forged on.  I was fortunate to have Laurie, another FIT Team member, available to flip chart, offer support, and help me finish up.  I could have beat myself up and felt terrible about how the meeting went.  Instead, I accepted my mistakes and counted them as another step in the learning process.

Supporting your partner has been one of the five key concepts we’ve focused on in training.  The team feedback and support after that first facilitation helped change my outlook on failure.  Their subsequent support built up my confidence in a way that no other experience has.  I not only have this amazing new set of skills but I also have a new support network at work.  I know I can turn to them if I need anything.  I’m glad to know that they will turn to me when they too need support.

Beyond this personal attitude change, the FIT Team has given me the opportunity to be involved in my organization and community in a way that would have been unlikely otherwise.  I was able to experience community engagement work that I wouldn’t have participated in with my current OPL position.  I am more involved in my organization.  I’ve worked to move OPL forward by facilitating meetings that I previously wouldn’t have attended.  I am actively involved in changing Omaha for the better.  I’m proud of OPL for taking a stand in our community and working to make positive change.

Editor’s Note – Megan was promoted from Senior Clerk to Librarian I in March 2015.

Posted by Megan Klein-Hewett, Facilitator-in-Training

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