Why I became a JCI trainer…
I remember going to my first official JCI training course – JCI Presenter – and being completely blown away by the two trainers, Dan Lally (JCI Barnsley) and Adam Woodhall (JCI Leeds). They were so professional and the quality of the training was higher than I had received in the workplace! What really inspired me though was the way that the trainers supported, encouraged and challenged me and my fellow course mates – they really took us on a journey and by the end of the day, I knew that the experience had reshaped me in some way – as JCI often has a knack of doing!
A couple of years down the line, I completed another official course, JCI Trainer (not currently avail- able but under review) and this was the first step towards my goal of becoming a fully fledged JCI trainer. The course taught me about different styles of learning and how to construct training courses in the most effective way and again, the trainers who ran the course (Emma Eastwood and Adam Woodhall, both JCI Leeds), supported me every step of the way.
It wasn’t long before I was itching to get out and about to start delivering training…but what could I train? Why would anyone want to listen to me? So I thought back to those JCI trainers that had inspired me – what made them so special? For me, it was about connection. It was about being in a room with someone who is passionate about the topic, who could enthuse and energise the audience and who put people at ease in a safe and open learning environment. Understanding this helped me to identify areas that I could start to train in. I looked at where I had most experience and passion – communications, branding, CSR – all of these topics I knew well and I felt confident that I had something to share and that I could help people to build their skills in these areas.
I LOVED travelling to other chambers, meeting new people and running training sessions – it felt like such a brilliant way to support the organisation and of course, I was learning and developing myself as a trainer all the time! In 2012, I wanted to push myself a little harder, so I applied to be a trainer at the JCI European Academy, from which I graduated in 2010. I was accepted into the Outdoor Team and travelled to Sweden to take part in the Academy. This was another life-shaping experi- ence. The process was fantastic and all the trainers were well supported, given feedback all the time and everyone on the team improved their skills during their time there. I was ‘buddied’ up with a very experienced trainer from the Netherlands, Dennis Ament, who observed my training whilst I was there and gave me loads of great feedback in my debrief – he really enabled me to believe in myself as a trainer and accept that I had found something that I had a huge passion for.
Around this time, I started to flex my trainer skills at work – it was brilliant to be in a position where my JCI experience was enriching my professional life!
Since those first training adventures, I have continued to deliver training (both in and outside of JCI), I have trained at the Scottish National Convention and I have been part of the training team for JCI UK LEAP. I also returned to Sweden and the JCI European Academy this summer! This year I joined the Indoor Team and spent a week working with some fantastic JCI trainers! Of course, I was nervous before I got there: would I be good enough, would I meet their expectations, would the delegates warm to me? A year ago, I received feedback from an attendee to a training course that I gave that I was just too energetic – that for some people, this was difficult to connect with and so I wanted to use this opportunity to test myself to use different energy levels to create a different impact. This was my main personal goal! Again, I was supported every step of the way and by the end of the week, I was delighted with the positive feedback I had received – especially as one delegate specifically pointed out my ability to change the pace of training by using various energy levels!
I feel very privileged to be a JCI trainer and hope that I can continue to train for many years to come. In this role I have been able to travel, meet new people, share my passion and also develop myself and my skills and I think this really is a great example of how JCI can provide development opportunities that empower our members to create positive change.
Kate Senter, JCI Sheffield, 2015 IPP JCI UK
This article appeared in our August online magazine edition of ‘Steel City News’ – read more here.
Categorised in: Charity
This post was written by Ryan Pilkington