You Never Have to Lurk In the Shadows Again

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I was training a bunch of engineers at an oil refinery in St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands more than a decade ago. And it was pretty much typical training. Five engineers, they each get up, they speak, record them, we play it back, we critique it, we do it again and again and again. And people get more comfortable, they get better, they get more interesting. They get to the point where they like, what they see. Well, I'll never forget what happened at the end of one of those trainings.

So the end of the day, and I didn't what I always do at the end of the training, I go around the room camera on, and I just asked people to tell me, what did you get out of today? If anything, what did you learn? And here was one engineer in the corner. He was 50 years old, and I noticed a tear in design. And he was very soft spoken and he was actually crying. And what he told me was TJ, what I learned today was, I don't have to live in the shadows my whole life.

I always thought I was someone who had to be behind the scenes. I'm not a public speaker. I'm not the front man, I can't be the face of our organization or my unit, I've got to be in the shadows. You taught me today that I could speak as well as anyone. And I gotta tell you, it feels really good. I'm excited.

In a way I've never been excited before about my job. And I gotta tell you, my heart to hear him say that because people don't typically cry at the end of my trainings. But it did show that it touched him It moved him and it made him realize that it's not some skill you're born with, you're not born with or some people are lucky enough to have it. It's just a technical skill that anyone can learn. He learned by going Through that day long in person workshop, you're learning by being in this online course right now. So why do they tell that story?

Why do I use that? I don't like to be overly dramatic and talk about people crying, but it really did happen and not making it up. And I do think it shows people that you can learn and you can learn at any age, this was not a young man. Now, since I'm over 50, I don't think I'm 50 years old. Or I was below 50 at the time. But it's an important lesson you can learn it anytime.

It's not something you're naturally born with. I do believe too many people in this world feel like they can never be the top of an organization or they can never run for office or they can never start their own business because they can't stand up in front of people and speak. And that hurts me I want people to know. Yeah, you can if you can learn all those other things of how to run a business or Develop positions for a political campaign. You can get the speaking part down pretty easily. That's my message.

Anyone can learn to speak and anyone can learn at any age.

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