Who’s your Norman?

Ponder this for a moment.

I had a conversation recently with someone who said ‘I do know you, I saw you speak years ago at a conference about innovation and it’s part of what made me decide to work in fundraising innovation’

And just to be clear they are pleased with their career choice to work in fundraising innovation!

It made my day.

Then I started to think – how often do we remember to feedback that sort of stuff? Not very often. We simply don’t spend any time reflecting to notice or we’re too busy moving forward to stop and think.

Have you ever spoken to someone, been in a training session, read a blog, or book or listened to a podcast and the content gave you an ‘ah – ha’ moment or helped you make a decision or do something different?

Often in the moment we don’t realise the importance of what’s happening. It’s only afterwards. And only if we allow ourselves time and space to reflect.

Many years ago, when I first graduated and lived in Leeds, I trained as a Childline counsellor. The training was run by a trainer and counsellor called Norman. And it was life changing for me. It’s one of the reasons I wanted to work at the NSPCC, (Childline and NSPCC joined together in 2006) to raise money for the service that I volunteered for and I knew made so much difference.

One day when I was working for NSPCC in London I was visiting the Childline offices down the road. I walked into reception, and I saw Norman.

Norman was the trainer that had trained me to be a volunteer counsellor in Leeds 10 years earlier. He was now a Childline Regional Director. I went up to him and said that I had been one of the Childline volunteer counsellors that he had trained in Leeds and that he, and the training had changed my life.

To be quite honest I’m not entirely sure that he remembered me, but he was very gracious about it. He said thank you. We did a bit of chatting. Then he went to his meeting. Norman made a massive impact on my approach to working life and the direction my career took. If I hadn’t randomly bumped into him that day, I would never have told him.

Who is your Norman?

Ponder this for a moment.

Have you ever told the person about the positive impact they made? If the answer is no, I encourage you to do it now. Just get in touch and tell them. It doesn’t matter if you know them personally or not. It’ll likely make their day.

I posted about this on Linkedin. Many people thanked others who had inspired them in the comments. You can thank your Norman there too. Here’s the link.

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