Last week, a group of candid and courageous trade school students at Laney College in Oakland, California taught me an interesting lesson. How? Keep reading.
It all began years ago, when I met Nick Kyriakopedi, Laney College’s HVAC and Electrical Department Chair, at an HVAC Excellence conference in Las Vegas. Nick’s ebullient personality made it easy for us to become friends and so when I phoned him a few weeks ago to say I’d be consulting in Northern California, he jumped at the chance to host a soft skills class. Nick assured me that the students would be astute and that they would appreciate my presence. Boy, Nick was not kidding.
The classroom was packed with more than 60 students and their remarks ran the gamut from how to handle persnickety customers, where to park their truck, to questions about personal hygiene and customer’s pets. Needless-to-say, we had lots of laughs too.
Some students were in their early twenties and others were forty-something. Their inquisitive and eager demeanor made the time fly. They courageously let it all hang out and this resulted in a mutually beneficial learning experience.
I continue to learn much from those whom I serve. When I see courage in the classroom it reassures me that there is hope for the future.