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In Mandt we stress the “affirm your feelings and choose your behavior” concept. I had a student once count and say that phrase is used 12 or 13 times in our presentations. I have found myself getting much better at incorporating this into my everyday life. I am always looking for examples of other people being able to show this. I recently was able to see a great example of this concept being put into practice.

I was observing a new contract staff person present a week’s training. The first two days all the technology worked as it was supposed to. The morning of day three, however, the sound system in the room decided it didn’t want to work. It was about 7:55 when this was discovered (mind you we start at 8:00). Plan B was the trainer pulled their Bluetooth speaker out and tried to use it. On the third try or so it paired with the computer and worked for a few moments, and then it stopped. We then tried my computer with the room’s sound system to see if the issue was with her computer or the sound system. Mind you, there is a room with 21 students ready to go. The contract person is also under pressure because they are being assisted and/or observed by me. The contract staff person appeared to remain calm. We talked briefly about options, she made a choice to start the day, and we moved on. Over the next hour we had various hotel staff in and out of the room attempting to get the sound system to work. At one point a hotel staff person was working with the contract trainer’s computer and had switched screens to check computer settings. When the contract person turned around to look at the screen to check what slide was next, there was no presentation open! How many people would be able to remain calm, say ‘oh, there’s no presentation up there,’ and calmly walk to the computer and pull the presentation back up?

After about 45 minutes the hotel person came back into the room, made some changes to their system, and said it should be working now. So, while the contract person was discussing Mandt Prohibited Practices, I went to her computer, changed to a video, and checked to make sure the sound was working. The sound now is working, loudly! The contract staff person jumped, being somewhat startled from the sudden sound of Kevin Mandt’s voice booming out of the speaker directly over her head, and said ‘oh good, it’s working now.’

When you look at everything this person went through in just over one hour’s time, the fact that she was still able to appear calm and keeping going is a testament to her ability to affirm her feelings and choose her behavior! She made it look like just another day at work. For all of her abilities, I would love to say congratulations to Kaye Otten! You definitely know how to role model this concept! How can we help each other and our staff to demonstrate this concept? Let’s keep up the good work!

Dr. Dale Shannon – Mandt Faculty

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