To date, I’ve already worked through several stages in my career at TÜV Rheinland: Starting with an internship, working as a student assistant, and ending with a job as Junior Social Media Manager. You can read more about how I managed this and what exciting projects I have supervised so far here in the career blog. So, what’s next?
You never stop learning
After almost two and a half years as Social Media Manager I can say: You never stop learning! Even though I am familiar with workflows, tasks, and tools, there are changes every day in the field of social media that we have to adapt to. Apart from the technical side, there are also a lot of social skills that need to be developed and improved throughout one’s life.
At TÜV Rheinland, we are allowed to do regular training courses to help us achieve this. We do not only rely on external providers, but also have the great advantage that we can attend many seminars in-house at TÜV Rheinland Akademie. From presentation techniques, language instruction, time management, and self-organization to dealing with conflicts, everything is included.
Live and learn – a stupid saying, but it’s true
The best thing about it for me: In the workshops I not only learn what I need for my work, but also interesting things that I can use in my everyday life. I’ll be happy to tell you what that is. Maybe you can pick something up for yourself.
Last year, for example, I attended the “Train-the-trainer” seminar. All participants were made ready to hold workshops themselves. How is a workshop structured? How do I design a seminar so that my audience doesn’t fall asleep? Which methods can I use for the introductions so that the participants don’t feel uncomfortable and how do I have to behave as a trainer?
Different types of learners
The most valuable insight: Every person learns differently. In other words, each of us can absorb and process information differently. There are three types of learner:
- Remembers what he/she has seen, thinks in pictures structures
- Clothing, design, and visual impressions are important
- Appears thoughtful, calm, and reliable
Remebers what was said or discussed
Stores in rhythmic patterns
Likes to summarize everything verbally
• The body-focused emotional type
• Emotions are important
• Remembers what he/she has felt or tried out
• Has a pronounced body feeling
• Comfort before design
Using various personality tests, we found out who corresponds to which type of learner within the group. The aim of the exercise was to understand that you can meet all three types of learners in one workshop. As a trainer, I have to include them all somehow. One needs a visual agenda, the next just wants to listen and the third needs to try the method out for himself to get something out of the workshop at the end of the day. So if I stand in front as a trainer and spend eight hours only using one type of presentation, I’m very likely to lose a large group of the audience.
Two examples from life
And what have I learned for life now? It was not only interesting to find out which type one is, but also to which colleagues (or spouses, friends, and family members) one belongs. Once I have found out for myself what my needs are and how others work and learn, it is much easier to have more understanding for each other. At work you can use the strengths of the team members so that everyone is satisfied with the end result.
Example 1: The team workshop is coming up. Timo is a kinesthetic type of learner, he opens the windows at the beginning and provides fresh air. Petra is an auditory type. She likes to chat up and forgets the time during the welcoming speech. That drives Peter crazy. He is a visual type and needs a clear agenda at the beginning of the workshop that he can keep an eye on. If the announced break times are not kept, he gets nervous. Timo therefore ensures a good atmosphere during the workshop. You see – different types of learners can complement each other well in a group. It is important to give all types enough freedom.
Example 2: Mara and her partner Simon often have small differences of opinion in the household. Mara is a visual type and loves structure and order. She always makes sure that her home is tidy. Simon, as a kinesthetic learner, places more value on originality and creativity and can’t keep order at all. That drives Mara crazy. Conversely, Simon is annoyed by Mara’s madness for order. Their different types are responsible for this. So, it makes sense to be aware that we all work differently and therefore often don’t have the same views. This makes it easier to understand oneself and others and to make compromises.
Understanding yourself better- a lesson for life
With this short analysis I have understood why I do some things this way and not differently and that I do not have to justify myself for it. So if I am a participant in a seminar myself, it is the trainer’s job to include me personally (and of course everyone else) according to my needs. If he or she doesn’t succeed, I don’t have to feel bad or force myself to listen to the lecture longer. This is not only true for seminars or meetings, but also for all other life situations. Just be yourself and don’t bend. As our trainer said so nicely: “Behaviours that don’t correspond to your own learning type can cause you physical pain” – quite blatant, but it’s true.
I immediately recall seminar days or my university days. Sometimes I went almost insane because one of the lecturers was constantly moving up and down during the lecture or the other professor spoke too monotonously. That actually caused me “pain” because I am not receptive to these methods.
My very personal conclusion: I assume that I no longer have to be at the mercy of such situations and that I can end them at any time. And maybe some of the teachers, trainers, lecturers or professors I have met in my career should have done this seminar.
In the next blog post, I’ll tell you what kind of learner I am and how you can use Design Thinking methods in everyday life. Subscribe to our newsletter, so that you don’t have to miss out on part 2.