Grasping Nettles: Positioning for Employment – Leeds Met

Hi

I’ve been working with colleagues and students at Leeds Metropolitan University on the theme of preparation for employment. All sounds a bit dry perhaps but the two sessions so far have been well received and I have learned a lot about myself!

The last session was captured on film and turned into a promo for the approach to student support. You can see it here:

Here’s a challenge for you….

We started this session by asking the students (a mix of Childhood Studies undergraduates) to write on their sticky notes their first impressions of ME. They had never met me before and all I had done was welcome them as they came into the room.

This is what they wrote and placed on the wall behind where I sat. 

First impressions of the man in the suit…..

confident

looks smart

sense of humour

serious

anxious

sad

polite

friendly

quizzical

nice

conventional

a nice looking man

professional

approachable

happy

looks smart

well groomed

nice guy

easy to talk to

looks welsh

strange

funny

good sense of humour

 

Interesting list?? Looks Welsh?? Could’ve been a lot worse (e.g. could do with losing a stone…)

Some fascinating contrasts – I challenge you to have a go next time you’re with a bunch of new people. The process had the desired affect which was to place everyone at their ease and open up conversations around self concept and confidence which can be fraught with pitfalls. 

I used a lot of storytelling in the session and this went down well – sometimes, and I don’t know if this is a bad thing or a skilled engagement technique, I see myself doing edutainment! Oh well. The feedback says I helped.

Go on, grasp the nettle. What first impressions do people get of you?

Cheers.

 

Hywel