Yesterday, I was called to do a stint as a trainer. The audience was a group of 25 or so managers from one of the Big-5 local universities. The topic was “Management in the IT era”. Looking through the module, I discovered that “effective communication” was an area that I had to cover. And judging from the initial responses I got from the group, I knew I was in for one bumpy ride. Here’s a memorable episode:
One of the participants was a certain Puan Bedah. She was a no-nonsense, headmistress type person who wore her hair in a non-nonsense bun. She looked the picture of efficiency in her grey flannel suit with a pair of gold-rimmed reading glasses perched on the bridge of her nose. I had no doubt at all in my mind about her competence as a manager. I sensed she had a sense of humour, too.However, her command of English may have been a little wanting.
“I would like you to see me as a coach rather than a lecturer” I started. “I prefer not to lecture. If I lectured, this would happen: I talk, you sleep“
“Or, if too boring, we sleep together!” Puan Bedah chimed-in, bursting with innocent enthusiasm.
“I appreciate the offer, ma’am! But, if I weren’t already married… “, it took a while for my evil grin to disappear.
I knew what she really meant to say. But I just couldn’t help myself.