Yvonne Brown is one of those rare individuals that can change a persons life just from a chance meeting. I met Yvonne when my company hosted JAD Communications for a Self Directed Work Team training event. She has this air of positivity about her that is absolutely infectious.
At the time I was struggling and uninterested in my position at my company. A good portion of the training focused on interpersonal skills development. As I learned about different personality types and discovered my own, I remember being slightly agitated because my conflict and stress reaction did not match my personality type.
Yvonne noticed I was giving this a lot of thought and she talked me through it. I was just so impressed by her ability to read people. She appeared to know what we were thinking and she genuinely cares. Yvonne is such a skilled listener that all of the background noise just seems to disappear in her presence. Since then Yvonne has come back for more training events, and I was surprised at how much I looked forward to a chance to speak with her again.
She asked me to read her book, Self Creation, and I was really able to internalize the message. I continued at my company as part of an experimental team attempting to change the manufacturing culture.
As our team evolved I continued to practice the ideas I learned in Yvonnes book. For me this journey to form a self directed work team has been more a journey of personal discovery. I have always believed in Socrates idea, The unexamined life is not worth living.
Yvonne has helped to open my eyes to how others view me. She introduced me to the heartfelt belief that I can determine my future. I can create my own self fulfilling prophecy. As I consciously made an effort to use the techniques I had recently read about, I noticed my life begin to change. I was not as dissatisfied at work. My mood improved on a daily basis. I was able to really concentrate and apply myself to the work at hand.
I have become a more effective presenter and have had the opportunity to present for the most influential people within my company, most notably the CEO. After over 20 years as a manufacturing technician I never believed I would speak comfortably with a man who holds a chair at the United Nations. It is strange but I was in the same position, making the same salary, doing the same work and yet suddenly I was successful.
My ability to communicate improved and people wanted to listen to me. As I accepted more ownership of the business, more doors opened. I became immersed in my new role as a Functional Training Lead for the team. I have been influential in developing new training materials and a new skill based assessment. Quality of training has always been something that I complained about. Now I have stopped complaining and started doing something about it.
My work was noticed and in February I was awarded a position in the new training department. I still have many bad habits to unlearn, many good habits to learn and a few rough edges that need to be polished. I have begun to change the direction of my career. I even have plans to go back to school and continue my education. Sometimes, all it takes is the right person giving a nudge at the right time.