The perils of online training - a negative self-talk diatribe by Steven Talbot

Greetings faithful reader of the blog,

Today is a bit different. First of all, I haven’t been updating my online presence due to the fact I’ve been far too busy - which can sometimes be a good thing. Note the use of ‘sometimes.’ I have been so immersed in online training, creating new courses, interviewing new participants for my training films etc. that I’ve barely had time to breathe, the ongoing dilemma of running your own business I suppose. I gave myself a week off and lo and behold I then got shingles. It’s like my body says, ‘right let’s have a rest and let’s make sure he has a rest, a ‘restful’ time on the sofa - in pain.’ Brilliant…

I’ve recently been raging. Raging I tell you! Consumed by it.

God bless Zoom, wonder of wonders and the best online training package ever created. it’s been 100% tip-top, reliable, interactive and dependable.

Now, lets have a chat about MS Teams… Oh my. From learners being unable to enter breakout rooms, to learners not being able to GET OUT of breakout rooms. Breakout rooms that simply refuse to open. The fact I can’t share word documents, ‘failed to share.’ Meetings that suddenly close of their own volition.

Yes, it’s been fun, fun, fun with Teams.

Only now, it’s all got a little bit worse, because now MS Teams steadfastly refuses to work. I had to postpone a training event because all I got were several error messages, replete with ‘cannot connect to the Internet’ even though there I was ON THE INTERNET. At the time, I just rolled with it, contacted the local authority in question and they were lovely and said, ‘we can reschedule.’ The problem for me is that I loathe letting people down. A few years ago, I had my tonsils removed and I was back delivering training a week later, slightly giddy on painkillers but I couldn’t let the learners down. Especially as I knew Ofsted were about to arrive – and we still got Outstanding!

My dear chum Peter, the IT specialist is struggling to solve the issue and that man is a genius. Meanwhile the next date for online training via Teams (because the organisation won’t use Zoom) is moving ever closer… And to me it’s like the impending death knell of my online training career.

It started to feel like the anxiety and the panic and the ‘oh my days, it’s never going to work’ negative self-talk had started it’s inexorable march toward overwhelming me.

Cut to today and said organisation emailed to say, ‘nah it’s fine Steven, we’ll just push the training further into the year, get yourself sorted mate, you’re brilliant.’ I think there are times when I need to listen to my own missives and step back a bit, oh yes, because sometimes (just like the picture above) my rational compassion with myself goes out of the window and I find that I’m raging into the wind. ‘Raging you say? Indeed, and what can be causing that explosion of emotion Steven?’ Why, it’s that age old problem – IT. And it’s something I have no influence over, Covey would be telling me to spend my energy on what I can influence, not what concerns me and suddenly a wave of calm descends and I start to think far more positively.

As I wrote earlier – I need to start listening to my own messages. Onward, ever onward and let’s keep that anxiety in check.