Brenda’s Observations While on the Road…
For those of you who read Ray Saint’s blog regarding his observations while on the road, you may notice a common theme here!  Having had the opportunity to meet and interact with Ray at the Midwest Speakers Bureau showcase in September, I was especially inspired to read Ray’s wise observations from his recent book tour travels, and I decided to chime in with my own.

These last few weeks as a presenter have taken me to West Des Moines, Orange City, Estherville, Emmetsburg, Johnston (including a night out on the town with a number of hospital accountants at a Des Moines piano bar), back to Emmetsburg, to Storm Lake and Cedar Falls.  This coming week will take me from Coralville and West Liberty, to Springfield, IL, West Des Moines, and Atlantic, Iowa.

Now, what have I learned through my recent travels?  I could probably write volumes—never open the door to long-windedness from a former English major—but I’ll try to focus on one especially prevalent observation.

One thing that has particularly struck me in the last few weeks as I’ve worked with a variety of groups is simply how rejuvenating it is for all of us to get a day or two away from our regular work routine and participate in a leadership retreat, conference, or association training. 

This past week, I facilitated sessions on customer service and emotional intelligence for an Iowa healthcare association’s district trainings.  I was so impressed by the enthusiasm for learning and the sharing of relevant experiences among the participants.  You could just sense a genuine desire to suck up all the learning that they could to take back to their workplaces and daily lives as a whole.

While budget cuts have many organizations cutting back on training and travel budgets, I think it’s critical to remember how refreshing it is to once in awhile break up the daily routine and gather with colleagues to gain new insights and understandings to help us be more effective and energetic in our work.
P.S.  Ray, Congratulations on your successful book tour!  I have fond memories of all of us waiting nervously in the back of the room to present at the fall showcase…I hope our paths on the road cross again soon!
–Brenda Clark Hamilton, MA Ed.

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