This topic comes up quite a bit in our offices, as we talk about the fact that a lot of our clients taking our training around the globe, and the ones who take our open workshops at 2Win! headquarters have a boat load of courage. To sit and evaluate your demonstration or presentation skills, to role play, to be coached 1:1 takes guts. Not everyone is open to hearing feedback, even if it makes them all the better for it. Lets face it, sometimes being coached can be painful, or even embarrassing. Maybe in the middle of role play with your manager you totally slip up. Ouch. It can hurt, and being put on the spot can also be uncomfortable.
But when you walk out of that coaching session, even though you may have made a fool of yourself, you are now that much better, you have now learned something new, or maybe you learned another way to navigate a conversation with a client. Maybe you learned a technique you never would have thought of on your own. Having an open mind and challenging yourself to be uncomfortable is the only time you will grow and change. Its similar to going to the gym, when you work out and you feel a slight tension or straining in your muscles, its because they are tearing and then rebuilding to get stronger. There is a reason why the phrase "no pain, no gain" exists, and it is relevant in all different parts of our lives.
An Actor's Story
I'm part of the marketing team at 2Win!, and I am also an actor living in los angeles. (You can catch me on the latest season of Black-ish on ABC playing the role of Tracee Lee Ross best friend “Jess”). I couldn't help but notice the blaring similarities in acting, and in being a demo or presales person. Because in a sense, we are all performing. We all need to prepare, practice-practice-practice, and then we need to be able to deliver on the spot, and make any changes necessary in the room (improv).
Coaching and training take courage, and they take thick skin. Even super experienced and talented actors like Jennifer Aniston have life long acting coaches, because there never comes a time where you cant learn new tools or get better.
As an actor, I get audition coaching all the time, and I am always training whether it's in an acting class, or major education program– in fact I'll be completing my program in Shakespeare at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London this summer!
The type of training you take depends on the skills you want to build or what you want to learn. When I first started getting coached on my auditions, it was rough. The feedback was eye opening, as I didn't even realize I was doing the things I was doing. My coach would say, "Jessica, you blinked 50 times during that scene, like excessive blinking" or, "Jess, you have this thing you do, where you sigh constantly." After working on these strange habits I somehow acquired, I was able to conquer them and get better. Also over time, the pain that can sometimes come with being coached subsided, I don't even feel it anymore, its all just a part of the process–of getting better and learning. I even started recording myself, which is a common practice in acting training, so you can see yourself as the world sees you. It can be so uncomfortable to watch yourself. If you haven't pushed yourself yet, I challenge you to put yourself out there, challenge yourself to be uncomfortable…To have the courage to be coached.