The best learning experience I ever had – Perry Timms

Next up in our series of guest bloggers is the inimitable Perry Timms. Perry is Head of OD & Talent for The Big Lottery Fund, blogs here and should be followed on Twitter here!

He takes some time out during the Queen’s Jubilee concert to reflect on two experiences (he cheated) that had profound impact on him

So a guest blog eh? For Trainers Kit Bag eh?  Well whilst watching the Jubilee “pop party” I thought why not use such an auspicious occasion (of such mediocre musical performances) to trawl the memory archives for the most memorable learning experience.

I instantly came up with two so instead of just one, I’ll recall why these two experiences were so memorable.

Memorable because each one contained a moment of sheer self-realisation – a realisation that I had learned a lot, but more I found something I loved learning about and realised I would never learn enough about them – leading people and coaching them.

1992.  I’d been a manager for a couple of years, I was called up to “Intro to Management” at a hotel in Bournemouth from Monday to Friday. I was taught and schooled in a range of theories and applied models such as the Tannenbaum and Schmidt leadership continuum and what the internal welfare service was all about. I made some great friendships during that week; learnt more about management than I knew existed and realised there was more out there for me to learn.  My insatiable appetite for learning was taken to a new level.  I’ll never forget that week.

The second was last year, when I enrolled onto my Coaching Certificate at Henley Business School.   Similar experience except this one I went into with an ILM Level 7 programme already attended and lots of useful if not random coaching under my belt.  Still I learned and learned.  Again there was a pattern – great people on that course programme and some lasting memories of great practice coaching sessions.

This learning event gave me a deeper realisation – that every ounce of me believed in coaching as a way of unlocking the best in people and that I would never stop learning about people whilst I coached. I learned the Nancy Kline way; reinvigorated my belief in unconditional positive regard; an enhanced feedback model and some of the best feedback I’ve ever had as a coach.

So both of these learning experiences had something in common to make a truly memorable learning experience; the realisation that in some areas I’ll never stop learning and that thrills me to the core.  The other week I was talking to one of those people you meet – who you just think “Wow you’re going to be good” – and she said to me “I just love learning and knowledge”.  That’s my epitaph, just nailed, thanks Jenna. 

These 2 events helped me make my choices in life about the career I wanted and needed.  Best learning experiences I’ve never had, sure –  and still feeling the aftershock/fallout to this day.Happy learning folks – hope you find your learning mojo. 

Oh and Tom Jones is on now – a perennial learner if ever there was one.  Go Sir Tom..!

One thought on “The best learning experience I ever had – Perry Timms

  1. Pingback: The best learning experience I’ve ever had – the story so far… | Trainers Kit Bag

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