Recently at work, we had a positivity masterclass run by Bernie Price. I wanted to write a bit about it and how I found it related to my personal life. As I started writing this post, I realised it was going to SUPER long because I want to give a bit of background info first on me, my personal life, our office, why we did this training and how it all relates to each other – because it doesn’t make sense without it! So let’s get started with the “background” bit first:
Our office has been a very changing environment since I’ve worked there. When I started at Bronco, the team had just moved into our brand new offices which are awesome – they’re super light and airy, big and open plan, pretty cool and creative – so the atmosphere when I started a couple of days after everyone moving in there was pretty upbeat and I was excited to join the team.
Unfortunately, I was a little knocked back in confidence by the not-so-great experience I’d had of the workplace in my first step in my career – teaching in a pretty prestigious school. While most of the experience was positive, I was very very drained by it all – being ill with my gallbladder through the vast majority of my time there, under the pressure of working the full time job with absolutely zero prior teaching experience (plus I had Oxbridge application students in my Sixth Form class applying for MY subject – pressure!) in addition to doing the uni course at the same time (I did a GTP) and creating all of my own resources for teaching (Latin and Classics don’t have many ready made resources so it’s a lot of creating your own!), and also having an issue with one of my mentors who brought me down a lot.
I’ve always been a self-conscious and anxious person, but I work really hard to overcome these parts of my personality. I was terrified of public speaking but managed to forget this in the run up to starting my teaching job, and I didn’t find that aspect of it too bad actually. So when I started at Bronco, I’d actually gone back on myself a bit to return to more of that shy and withdrawn personality that I fall back on.
My job role at Bronco at the time was quite insular – I crossed over between a couple of different teams with no one else doing what I was doing, so any struggles I came up against were kept to myself. I didn’t have a lot of interaction with other team members except what was necessary and awkward attempts at conversation. The office was very quiet and I struggled to break the silence we worked in. I hugely enjoyed the job and really loved being part of the Bronco team, but I still found it really hard to come out of myself.
About a year into the job, my bosses noticed that we as a company were “plateauing”, as is natural in many small businesses of our age. Despite being great at our jobs, we weren’t hugely inspired, there wasn’t a lot of communication and we weren’t meshing together across all areas of the team. They brought in Bernie Price, previous winner of the Universe in bodybuilding now turned inspirational coach. We ran a few sessions with her then (a couple of years ago now) and came out the other end with some values to hold us together better as a team, learning more about each other and how to communicate better (take those headphones out!), and I slowly began to grow in confidence since then.
We had a bit of a rejig of the way we work and I became part of a brand new team at Bronco – Digital Media Marketing (DMM). It took what I did already (outreaching to bloggers) and expanded on it, so we weren’t just doing boring “write about our clients” campaigns, but creating really awesome content and sharing it across the board, incorporating social media, journalism, content creation and everything else with it (read more about what I do on the Bronco blog here). It meant that I was working closely as part of a small, close knit team – we really have to keep each other up to date on everything that’s going on!
During this time, I slowly began to work on my confidence. I’ve been at Bronco 3.5 years and I’ve realised over the past couple years that it was about time I got over my worries about being awkward and shy. I know already that I’d had my confidence knocked by my previous work experience, but that didn’t need to affect how I acted in daily life now, because I know this team at Bronco now and they’re not the same as what I experienced when teaching at all.
In the past two years since we worked with Bernie Price, we’ve grown massively as a team in terms of communication and understanding one another. People have left the team, and new people have joined, so we’ve changed slightly, but it all feels like we’re working together towards the better.
Becky and Dave, the husband-wife team at the forefront of Bronco, have recently taken a 2Inspire leadership course to work on their personal bettering as leaders. And they decided, based on some feedback from the rest of us, to get Bernie Price back in so we could work on one thing our office can suffer from: a lack of positivity. If something goes wrong, we tend to moan and bring others down, and some of us weren’t sure how to deal with the negativity we felt sometimes in the office.
Personally, I’ve mentioned before that I try to be a positive person at all times. I will be so careful about what I think of and say about other people, in case it’s in any way offensive or negative. The only downside is that it does make for a bit of a problem I have – I worry massively about what other people might think of me in return. If I do or say something wrong, I worry about it. I worry that people will perceive my personality wrong and make me out to be a bad person, which I try so hard not to be, which means that I’m constantly stressing about the tiniest things. This is something I’m working on at the moment and something I’ll talk about more in future I think.
But I struggle to find a way to combat negativity I come up against, and I struggle because sometimes I get very overwhelmed by life in general – mostly little things, but those little things that can build up and cause stress in day to day life.
So when we invited Bernie Price back for this masterclass, I was really excited about finding out how I could work her solutions to some of these issues into my work life and personal life. At the time of writing, the masterclass was only yesterday (a couple of weeks ago now!) but I’m already feeling a lot of positive effects from it. And that’s why I feel it needs a whole other post to explain a bit more about what we did and the effect on me personally. I’m also going to be writing a post on our Bronco blog about the exercises we did and the practices we were given from a work and office point of view, if that might be of interest to anyone else too 🙂 Keep your eyes peeled for more!