During a train-the-trainer session a few years ago I had the opportunity to meet an interesting new facilitator. At the end of the three days of training, he came up to me and said, “I see where this is going, but I just haven’t bought in yet.” He is a high Inquiring Green and I could see that he needed more time to process the information and see it play out in real time before he was going to commit to the model.
A few months later I received a phone call from him. He started the conversations with, “I have bought in.” I immediately knew who it was … even though he didn’t say so … and couldn’t wait to hear the story that I was sure came with the conversion. This is what he told me.
‘I am working with a youth group. It is a week long program and we spend the first part of the Monday morning going over the agenda, general housekeeping issues, etc. We were scheduled to do the Personality Dimensions® workshop that afternoon. At the lunch break we were all outside; it was a nice day and there is a picnic table under a tree close by so everyone went there to eat lunch.
Three of the young men were chatting in a group and I overheard one say,“Bet you I can climb this tree!” the other two started to laugh as the tree didn’t look like one that a teenager would be able to climb very high in. There were a few, “Cannot!,” “Can so!” comments going back and forth.
At the other end of the picnic table two other participants sat listening to this conversation. They both looked at the tree, and the young man and started to talk about the likelihood of him being able to climb, how high he might be able to go, the actual weight each branch could hold, if he should climb close to the trunk, etc.
Two other participants looked worried that he might actually attempt the climb. They voiced their concern, “What if you get hurt?” and “You might fall!”
One other young woman felt it was import to remind them all, “We are only out here to have lunch. We aren’t allowed to climb trees.”
Well, of course the young man wasn’t to be put off so up he went. Higher and higher he climbed. The two who had been part of the original conversation encouraging him all the way, “Go! Go! Lookin’ good! Keep going!” The two young women who were so concerned for his safety watched on with concern etched on their faces and fear in their eyes. The young men on the other end of the table continued to watch in total fascination as he passed the point at which they felt he could climb no more. The woman concerned that tree climbing was not on the agenda ran over to the Facilitator in the hopes he would do something and make it all stop.
It was at that moment that our young tree climber lost his grip and came crashing down through the branches, bounced off the picnic table, landed hard on the grass and immediately jumped to his feet with the traditional cry of, “I’m ok! I’m ok!”
His two cohorts in crime were elated and whooped with joy; racing to him and thumping him on the back. All smiling broadly. The two young ladies rushed in saying, “Are you alright? Are you ok? You should lie down, you might have a concussion or a broken bone!” The two at the end of the picnic table didn’t even move, but were now comparing notes on why they thought he was able to climb even higher than anticipated and about how the branches worked to break his fall. Our young woman who had warned all this wasn’t a good idea in the first place stormed over to get her two cents in, “I told you we weren’t supposed to be climbing trees!! Are you trying to get us all in trouble?”
The facilitator, sitting back, made note of how each responded to the situation. Three Resourceful Oranges were involved in the climbing and the encouraging of it. Two Authentic Blues worried someone might get hurt. Two Inquiring Greens analyzed the play-by-play. One Organized Gold tried to keep everyone on plan. He wrote down his findings and waited to see if these were truly the primary colours they discovered when they did Personality Dimensions® that afternoon and, of course, they were.
At the end of the week he called to report, “I have bought in.”
Karen Kloibhofer, Level II Personality Dimensions® Trainer is a Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Consultant with Fanshawe College with over 20 years in employability – helping match good employee candidates with the right mentor/employer. She feels that for any career, and apprenticeship in particular, finding the right personality match between a mentor and the new employee is the key to a successful mentoring partnership. www.karenkloibhofer.com