How do you know when to be still, or when to speak? What to say and the right time to say it? How to take a conversation to the next level and how to pitch your business as a salesperson?
I recall starting my career in a class of about 67 new hires, we had a six-week induction training where we were prepared for pretty much everything to expect in the career world. The entire setup was like a mini camping experience for a set of young, fresh-out-of-school graduates with the same objective – starting a career on the right footing.
We were lodged at a guest house in Festac, and we had a staff bus pick us up every morning and drop us back at the guest house after the day’s activity. This was such a big deal at the time because the training school was in Apapa, so the burden of commuting from Festac to Apapa and back was taken off us. We were assigned two people (of the same gender) to a room and that gave us another opportunity to bond and make new friends. Oh my, I looked forward to morning rides to the training school every day because that was when the hot and sizzling “gists” are told. The only part I feared every morning was being awarded “the latecomer of the day”
Late comer of the day award usually went to the person who made us wait for a longer time than when the bus was to leave Festac. The first thing I learned from the mini-camp is time management, I thankfully voided the latecomer award.
Funny and seamless as the camping experience was, I learned a few life lessons that I still apply today; I learned to be punctual to meetings, dress appropriately for the given occasion, the importance of communication, and the various multi-layered lessons on how to influence people to do what I need them to, to empathize with people and to get along without losing myself. All of these and more are imbibed in emotional intelligence I was learning the same unconsciously at the time.
One of the things we were told at the beginning of the program was that we all could choose a department where we would like to work, however, the highlight of the entire training experience was about two weeks to the end of the training, when the human resources team introduced the motivational talk series; this went on for a few days before we were eventually told that we would all have to be deployed to Sales and Marketing teams across branches nationwide.
Being an extremely reserved person, I concluded that the job wasn’t for me and immediately commenced job haunting again, lol. Thank God I didn’t get another job at the time, so I stayed and learned communication, comportment, people management, interpreting body language, dressing appropriately, etc.
Today I have grown, flourished, and developed my communication, persuasion, and people management skill, taking a foundation from the training I had as a rookie.
One thing that has become my mantra is that “attitude is everything”.