Saturday, February 20, 2010

Revisiting old ideas

On Thursday the agency I work for hosted a presentation by image consultant Nyla Hasan. It was a full house - a lively and interactive seminar that touched on the science of style and ways to transform an individual from the outside in to effect lasting results. Her idea was not merely to change a person's outer appearance in order to effect change but rather to find little ways that a person can build confidence working with what they currently have to enhance themselves. She talked about goal setting, reframing thoughts and operating from a place that was more positive which in turn allowed the person to attract more positive experiences. Many of the concepts were familiar but the way that Nyla offered them up were very insightful and relevant for those attending - predominantly unemployed individuals going through transitions in their lives.

Nyla was a wonderful presenter and shared tips on how to exude confidence even in its absence (such as the proper way to breathe and stand - again, not necessarily novel ideas but certainly things that we tend to forget on a daily basis). She disclosed her own journey from her life in Pakistan to her days as a single mother with three children at a food bank to her current situation. What she was saying seemed to resonate with those attending. I'm optimistic that it even inspired some to take time to reflect and think of ways to move forward by being good to themselves and starting off by taking baby steps.

What inspired me most was how she facilitated her seminar. Her energy was palpable and she easily established a rapport with the audience. She supplemented her speaking with visuals, role plays and open questions which really engaged everyone. She didn't just speak in a loud voice and agree with what people said. She modulated her voice and really responded to the needs of the members in the audience. She also managed the group effectively, especially when irrelevant questions and comments surfaced, which is no easy feat. As for the content of her talk, hearing other perspectives on goal setting, reframing thoughts, self-esteem and confidence were particularly helpful as these are concepts that are touched upon during the three week group workshop I co-facilitate as an Employment Counsellor. Of course, her ideas also serve as wonderful tools for use in my own life so I'm grateful that I was able to be there.

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