By Babs Wells, Children’s Librarian at Greenville Public Library
I recently attended a one-day seminar on the topic of management and leadership. It was facilitated by Fred Pryor Seminars, according to their website they offer 10,000 award winning training options live and online to satisfy learning needs across the United States and Canada.
We dove right in at 9:00 am by introducing ourselves. I was the only public librarian in attendance. I met people who worked in all kinds of professions. It was a diverse bunch of folks.
The facilitator told us right out of the gate that she didn’t plan on doing most of the talking or lecturing. She briefly shared what the day would look like and that we would have two short breaks with an hour for lunch.
I have participated in a myriad of workshops, conferences and roundtables that are related to being a librarian, and usually know most of the people who are at these events and programs. It feels comfortable and familiar.
The Fred Pryor seminar placed me in a room where I didn’t know anyone in a format that was completely outside my comfort zone. Early into the morning we broke into small groups to work on one of the many assignments we were given throughout day. At first there was that feeling of uncomfortable silence when one begins to think to themselves, "Who is going to break the ice?."
As the day went on it became very interesting to get to know people whose professions are entirely unlike mine but I discovered we also had much in common. There were various strategies and concepts that were explored and shared that can be applied to being a leader whether you work as a department head in a public library, as a banquet captain in a restaurant, as a supervisor at a private catering event or as a manager of groundskeepers at several large cemeteries.
The facilitator had many catch phrases that she tossed out to sum up key points. She called these cheers, AHA’s. Chunk it Out! What gets measured gets done! Be Present! One team One Dream! I found this to be entertaining especially when she asked us to shout out as a group, “You are awesome!"
As I look over my notes along with the workbook we were given I have been inspired to implement some of the techniques and ways of communicating that I learned on that day. I am also excited to explore different concepts and theories that will assist me into growing as a person and a leader.
I highly recommend you to step out beyond the world of libraries to see what may be around the next corner. You just might be inspired to look at your profession with a new perspective.