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Blog : The Joy of Giving


The Joy of Giving

by Trisha Proud, learnpurple Associate

Well here we are in the midst of the giving season.  Yes, for some the past few days have been about the receiving but for many the true joy of the season reveals itself in the giving.

Of course the joy of giving is sometimes tempered by the fact that receiving often results in a pile of unwanted consumables. Traditionally this turns into almost  high comedy as unwanted gifts are dragged out of their hiding places and displayed (but only for as long as the giver is in the house).

This kind of low level hoarding is acted out all over the country and my home in no exception. But this year my family encouraged me to sell unwanted household items on E-bay. “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure” they said.

I wasn’t too sure about the morals of such an enterprise. Was this desire to make money out of what I considered useless junk really greed in another disguise? The bidding and selling process had an air of gambling about it, and I could quickly see how people could become addicted to the thrill as bids climb higher during the last dying seconds of the auction time on items placed for sale.

However I succumbed to family pressure and registered for an E-bay account.  Soon it was not enough that the unwanted but hoarded Xmas gifts had departed our home, but suddenly I was the agent in charge of auctioning items that my family no longer wanted in order that we could clear the garage!

I thought for a while about why it was that I had been cast in this role by my nearest and dearest. Then it dawned on me… as we trainers like to say… ‘A light bulb moment’!

As a learnpurple Associate my role is to be creative, articulate and ruthlessly organised! More than that, a good trainer is always finding new users for their existing possessions. All attributes that are essential for success on E-bay.

So when we had a new fireplace fitted,  it was an unspoken decision for me to auction the old Fireplace surround on E-bay. We probably could have got a lot more for it by other methods but we agreed to go for a quick sale in one of E-bay’s ‘buy now’ auctions.

When the auction closed the buyer, a young family man and his wife, duly arrived to collect the item.  I watched from my bedroom window as the buyer and my husband gently positioned the mantelpiece into the back of the buyer’s car you could see that they truly valued what they had got.

I felt good about this sale.  This was not a case of greed caused by making money from some item I no longer wanted - it was the fact that I felt socially good about the sale .The mantelpiece buyer and his wife were thrilled with the purchase; our old mantelpiece which had no use to us was now bringing joy to somebody else.

The joy for me was truly in the giving. Just as I give my knowledge, experiences and real life business stories whenever I am training. Over coffee later that day I was talking with my husband comparing the feeling I had about our E-bay sale with the same feeling that I get when I deliver training.

To be able to pass on your knowledge, experiences and real life business stories is indeed an honor, and one that I never take for granted and certainly one that never fails to thrill me.

Whenever I deliver training I always let the delegates know that we may during the course of the programme refresh previously learnt techniques that may have been laid dormant, in addition obviously to learning new skills and techniques. There is much said about us all living in a disposable ‘throw away’ society… but finding new applications for old things is something I encourage my delegates to do every day. I see those ‘light bulb moments’ all the time as I encourage delegates to use techniques they’d mothballed and put away.  It is truly a joy to observe and be part of.  My E-bay journey has brought into sharp focus that we all often dispose of, or disregard what we no longer think we need or have a place for in that particular moment in time. So often in the work place we believe that we must discover the latest management techniques because the old tried and tested methodologies surely cannot still be of use, when, more often than not, they are!

My job as a trainer is to ensure that I get as many ‘light bulb moments’ as I possibly can in any one training session. A great way of recording these is on the wonderful ‘purple postcards’ I hand out at each session. Delegates are encouraged to scribble down such moments as they occur. I personally always ask delegates at the end of each training programme to share with me what they have personally taken away for their learnpurple session –it is always amazing how often they say that they have unlocked a new use for dormant skill.

“Release Potential” – that’s what we at learnpurple call it.

Being a learnpurple associate gives me the route to be able to pass on knowledge, experiences and real life business stories in an extremely gratifying way. It is a great forum for giving something back to society as well as the next generation of business managers.

Whilst the joy of giving away ones unwanted processions via E-bay and gaining a little financial gain along with the buzz of being a social benefactor is great-  nothing compares to the reward and thrill one gets from releasing potential in an insightful training session full of ‘light bulb moments’

Now that to me… is the Joy of Giving.


When was your last light bulb moment? Have you released the potential of a dormant skill in a new way?

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