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Monday, 28 May 2012

A lesson in laughing and learning...

...based on Hens, a bar, and bottles!


I was tasked with arranging my best friend’s hen party and saw an opportunity do something interesting and a little different. Based on my passion for being a bit creative, making things happen and the knowledge of my best friends – I ignored the hen’s suggestion that we should just go out for a meal! 

I had to harness existing, and refresh old, skills (such as communication, negotiation, planning and organisation) first working out what to do, and then to get a local restaurant/bar to host a cocktail making class for us once we’d decided. For me, after some reflection on the day, a blog was born and here it is... 

By the time we arrived at the venue the hen had already experienced a few surprises in the form of a pre-party lunch and an unexpected guest, she relaxed for the first time as we approached the venue thinking that she was getting exactly what she had asked for. However, once inside she soon found herself behind the bar (not what she asked for/expected!), along with the rest of us. Despite her initial wish to just eat, she exclaimed that she had always wanted to work in a bar but had never gotten around to it. For me there was point number one: What are we waiting for when it comes to learning something new/doing something we've always wanted to do?

Our cocktail coach was fantastic – she identified what we already knew, talked us through different types of alcohol and equipment and demonstrated a range of techniques, all the while reinforcing that we would be able to put into practice what we were learning. 

At first our task was simple – make (and drink!) an easy all-in, mix it up kind of cocktail... No problem!  But then she took us through a range of more interesting sessions – flair and creation. Despite knowing we’d have to do this, the more complex the sessions became the more hesitant we were to get back behind the bar. And yet it was also when the laughing and learning really started. We ended up having a great laugh as we spun cups and threw bottles, or should I say dropped them!

Having fun really made the sessions memorable - The hen was really happy and everyone who came has some new skills... Job done!

My Lessons:
  1. Don't wait if there is something new you want to do/learn.
  2. You learn loads when you laugh lots... at yourself and with others (and I'm sure there is scientific proof!)
  3. When doing something new, draw on existing skills ( we all knew how to drink cocktails at least!)
  4. Learning happens when we stretch ourselves and keep on going (even when we drop the bottle!)
  5. We learn more doing than we can from observing, but understanding and observing first helps (so get behind the bar!)
  6. You have to limit/eliminate the fear of failure (drink can help *wink*)

So, When was the last time you laughed and learnt?




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