When I was in university, one of my professors was a former banana salesman. During his first lecture, he told us about how he won a prestigious bid and became the preferred supplier to one of the wealthiest corporations in (I think it was) Dubai.
He went to a lot of trouble to deliver his first order in mint condition. Bananas, I learned that day, need to be transported at 13.3C or 56F. So you get them on a plane that is cooled and that can maintain a constant temperature. And you cannot ship them with other fruit as bananas produce a kind of gas that spoils other fruit.
When the bananas arrived, they went on the back of a truck and were transported, it was boiling hot and the bananas did not arrive in mint condition…
So my professor went on, about how he stepped in and had another shipment done, this time in cooled containers to make absolutely sure the bananas were at the right temperature along their way to the customer. He would lose money on the deal but he wanted to be a great salesman and meet the customer’s expectations.
The bananas arrived and… the cook smiled and put them straight in the blender!
The lesson was that in communications you cannot assume, you need to ask questions and listen.
What a great teacher this former banana salesman was. We did not touch a book that morning, he told us this lesson 20 years ago and I still think of it often, most of all he inspired me into choosing a line of work.
-> Here’s my tip of the week: when next you attend Instructor Led training, make sure you get more out of it than just the plain theory. Make sure you talk to your ‘classmates’ and hear about their real life experiences. Make sure you ask your MCT for his/her anecdotes. The ‘informal learning’ component of any technical training class is sometimes underrated, but there are valuable lessons to be learned that may serve a lifetime! And it makes learning so much more fun! Enjoy your class!!!