Category Archives: Training
What follows is a short article Tim wrote to share with other members of my LinkedIn group “Leadership Foundation”, where previous participants and people interested in the topic can share references outside of training. I think some of what you can read here is a great example of getting and staying in Flow – a wonderful story of intrinsic motivation and awesome success, despite drawbacks and a very busy life. As a fellow marathon runner, I know what it takes and Tim has done a great job!
As a side-note, my insurance broker asked me to underline that I can take no responsibility for injuries sustained outside of training with me Any further attempts to complete a marathon remain unsanctioned
In June 2011, I followed Dan’s “Leadership Foundation Course” at Ghent University. During one of his classes on prioritizing, Dan stressed out that if something is really important, you just do it. If you don’t do it, it means it isn’t important. This struck me, as I always said to myself “one day, I will run a marathon”. Up to that day, I didn’t run it, it was one of the things on my bucket list, something I wanted to prove to myself but I hadn’t done it yet… Was it really important to me? I didn’t want people to mock me as “the guy that runs a marathon with his mouth but not with his legs”… So, on that very day I made the decision that in 2012 I was going to run a marathon!
I had some running experience previously but I never ran further than 15km. In August 2011, I started training 3x a week to run a half marathon. I accomplished this goal in November 2011. It was hard, but I enjoyed the race and achieved my time goal as well. Ok, this was only half the distance I needed to run and winter was coming up which makes training harder… I decided to maintain my level of training throughout winter and spring and use summer to get in shape for the complete marathon.
In April 2012, I needed to pick the marathon I was going to run. I felt I needed something big, not a race where only 5 people and 6 horses are watching. So I enrolled for the New York City marathon. This was it, the registration was final, my flights were booked, I had some supporters to join me, now I really had to run the race, no way back… I had my physical condition tested in the University Hospital in Ghent and via a mutual connection, I got in touch with a multiple Belgian marathon champion. My new coach did a test run with me and gave me a schedule for 6 weeks after which I had to do a test over 5km to see how my progress was. We are now August 2012. The schedule consisted of 5 trainings a week: 2 interval training (very fast and exhausting), 1 very long and slow training and 2 recuperation trainings. As I still had my daytime job to do and I’m also involved in a contemporary dance group (for which I have to train 3 evenings a week), I knew I was going to be busy the next couple of months… Some days were quite hectic: getting up at 6h, starting work at 7h, finishing at 18h, going home and eat in a quicky off to dance class, returning home at 22h, suiting up for a run of 1 and ½ hour, taking a shower and going to bed at 1h. But I really wanted this, I wanted to run the marathon, I wanted to prove to myself I could do it, I wanted to be an athlete and I wanted to be able to say “one day, I ran a marathon” instead of “one day, I will run…”.
Six weeks later, my coach was happy with my progress and adjusted my training for the next six weeks. He really wanted me to perform at the best of my ability so the training volume increased. In November, I felt ready for it. My physical condition and confidence were peaking, I was going to conquer New York! Until hurricane Sandy arrived… The race was on Sunday 4th of November, we wanted to take a plane on Monday to adjust to the hour difference but Sandy made it impossible to leave… Our flight was rescheduled to Friday. Less recuperation time, but I still felt confident and motivated! We arrived in NY, retrieved my runner’s number… and found out just 15 minutes later that the marathon was cancelled… I have never felt so disappointed as I felt that moment. Three months of training, all for nothing…
The next morning I decided that this wasn’t going to stop me: I was going to run a marathon and I was going to run it as soon as possible! The same day, I signed in for the marathon of Valencia which was held 2 weeks later. I contacted my coach and he adjusted my training schedule. Back to the training ground…
Two weeks later, after all the training, the disappointment, the new trainings, I was more motivated than ever before. I was going to Valencia and I was going to give it all I’ve got! And so it happened that last Sunday November 18th, I finally did it. I ran the marathon of Valencia in 3h 23min 59sec. I was hoping for a time under 3h 30min and I achieved my goal. During the race, after 32km, I endured a pain I had never witnessed before but I kept going. Pain wasn’t going to stop me, everyone was suffering at that point, I had to succeed. Despite of the pain, I enjoyed the race. The atmosphere was great, especially during the last kilometer. When I entered the “stadium” were the finish line was and I heard the roaring sound of the crowd, my legs felt brand new and I sprinted like reborn to the finish line. I was an experience I will never forget, for that one moment I really felt like an athlete at the Olympics with thousands of people cheering for me. Once I crossed the finish, I was barely able to walk normal and I thought to myself “When did I ever had this stupid idea to run a marathon??!!”. But a couple of hours later, I was thinking “Actually, this was pretty cool, I might do it again one day…”.
To conclude, after a course of just one week, Dan Steer controlled my life for almost a year… Thanks Dan, for triggering me to really go for my dreams! I suffered I don’t know how many hours in rain, wind and cold on the road, but I enjoyed every minute of it! And perhaps even more important than finishing the marathon (of which I feel so proud), I now feel like I can accomplish everything I want! It really was an experience I will tell my grandchildren about and I all started one day in a class room at Ghent University with Dan Steer…
I received this email yesterday, spontaneously, from a Presentation Skills training participant. We had discussed the power of storytelling, including how it increases recall… For more on this topic, follow this link
I couldn’t find your business card straight away for your email address so I picked this one up at your website.
You challenged each of us at your training to remember your bee story. I don’t remember it completely but I do remember the moral of the proactive bee story. If they would’ve carried bags as the proactive bee wanted, they could have been more efficient in their harvest, meaning that proactivity could lead to improvement.
It’s always nice to get some feedback about positive performance… …even nicer when you didn’t ask for it!
This month, I had 4 particular spontaneous feedbacks from satisfied clients. Being a proud young man, I share
“After your training, someone told me I was a good listener. It’s the first time in my life that I am told that. Thank you!”
During the 2nd day of training, a physics PhD student came to tell me this. During day 1 we did my absolute favourite active-listening exercise (if you want to know what’s so special about it, mail me). He repeated his feedback again after day 3 of training. He learnt, he practiced, he implemented, he succeeded. Nice!
“Juste un petit mail pour te faire part de ma très grande satisfaction par rapport à ce training. Mr Dan Steer a fait preuve d’un professionnalisme et d’un investissement personnel absolument remarquable dans le cadre de cette formation.”
A trainee from “Presentation Skills” with Kluwer sent this in an email to his own training manager, who forwarded it on to my contact at Kluwer. He followed 2 days of training with me, delivered 3 presentations and learnt a whole lot of stuff he can now do. Satisfied!
“J’ai passé, aujourd’hui, un entretien chez [ - - - - - - - ] qui ont accepté de me prendre en stage l’année prochaine. Un grand merci pour votre aide! »
My 2nd favourite recent feedback, as it show the effectiveness of good networking: A few months ago, Epsilon sent a mass mailing to their members asking if anyone knew of a theatre-training company that might take a temp-student-worker. I connected Sylvain with Sabine and received this email some time later. I love it when a plan comes together!
“Hello Mr Steer. It’s Gerard here – you trained me in Mons in 2008. I wanted to give you an update and let you know that I finally did my Djembe concert. I don’t know if you remember, but we talked about my lack of confidence and my dreams to perform in public. You asked me what I would think if I got to 50 (years old) and still hadn’t done what I always wanted to do. Well: That won’t happen – I’ve done it! I wanted to thank you for the inspiration and all your help and belief.”
My absolute favourite feedback in a long time, received by voicemail. My wife listened to it and nearly cried 3 years after training, this guy came back to thank me personally for the boost and “wise-words”. I feel like a guru. Like !
…if anyone else wants to tell me I did a great job, feel free…
Thanks for reading,
I received this reference by email yesterday from Sophie Kuypers, a previous training participant who also had individual coaching with me last year. I didn’t ask for the reference, so I am feeling very nice about myself
Ce midi, j’ai déjeuné avec une copine et elle m’a parlé d’une formation qu’elle a suivie dans le cadre de son travail et qui l’a beaucoup fait réfléchir sur des tas de choses. Elle m’a parlé des qualités du formateur qui en plus d’être compétent et dynamique, était psychologue avant de me donner son nom et… c’était toi pour “Building quelque chose“.
Très bon feedback. Continue à donner, c’est magique.
C’était le clin d’oeil du jour, un rien personnel )
Dan wants to ‘über-satisfy”.
It shows in his way of working: he’s always well prepared, punctual and always quick to respond or act according to the specific needs of the client.
… and above all, his personality makes him a pleasant trainer to work with.
Miek Wouters and Helena Van Caekenberghe
As part of its Continuous Improvement strategy, SITEL is globally rolling out Six Sigma.
The training on brainstorming Dan delivered recently constitutes an excellent add on to this development, facilitating the link between analyse of data and specific improvement initiatives.
It allows our Yellow, Green and Black Belts to perform their improvement tasks even more efficiently.
Operation Support Director, Benelux and Netherlands
Sitel is a performance improvement driven company. “Green is not good enough”. We are constantly moving forward and constantly looking for ways to improve.
The goal of my department is to support our corporate objectives through learning and development for all Sitel associates. Our success is that of the individual.
Having followed a public training session with Dan on how to facilitate a brainstorming session, I saw an opportunity to achieve
that mission and decided to implement it internally.
Innovation is a tool I believe each line manager should carry on their tool belt. This training helps participants to fulfil the strategic and business-driven need for improvement by identifying relevant operational actions.
In a highly interactive training environment, participants learnt how brainstorming can be done. We trained 37 different people and I am very satisfied with the work.