BlackBerry Syndrome: Have you been diagnosed? – Part 2

As promised at the end of Part 1, I’m back again to provide you with an example of a student who took full advantage of the break.

The student in this example had recently joined a leading IT service account management organization where he was having issues with managing certain external customers. He hoped that attending my course would provide him with the solutions he needed.

Mid-way through the course, he asked if we would be covering techniques on how to overcome certain challenges of managing the accounts of difficult customers. I told him that while it was not in the scope of the course, I was happy to discuss any specific organizational-type questions at the next break or after class. We agreed to wait until after class.

By the end of the day, I was prepared to provide my student with a number of ideas of techniques he could use to help solve the challenges he faced at work. However, things went slightly different than I expected.

He approached me with a big smile, and said something along the lines of: “I have the answers I need, but could you confirm that I’m on the right track?” I was pretty sure I hadn’t covered the information he had sought—unless old age had finally caught up with me and I actually had covered it—so I was very intrigued as to where he had uncovered the answers.

Come to find out, after speaking to one of his classmates, he had walked away with some useful tips for how to potentially resolve the issues he was having. As it turned out, the student he’d spoken with during the break was managing some of the same customers—but for a different portfolio of services and a different organization.

By using the break to his benefit, the student had managed to source the answers without my help. All I had to do was reinforce that the tips he’d been given were valid, and help him decide on the best way to go about implementing certain techniques.

So to anyone reading this blog entry, and hopefully attending a course soon, my advice is this: take advantage of your breaks.  As a general rule, 95% of what you take away from the course is from the trainer, and the other 5% is from your fellow students.

The value each student adds to the course comes from sharing your industry experience through participation in class discussions and avoiding BlackBerry Syndrome by simply talking to one another at break time.

Hitesh Patel

*ITIL® is a registered trade mark of the Cabinet Office

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