I presented my first webinar this week.
I talked about risk management for the Association for Experiential Education. I based my presentation on the online training that I developed last year (RM101), which is essentially my summary of a framework regularly presented by risk management industry GIANTS at the Wilderness Risk Management Conference. I have given a lot of thought to the way I describe this framework and how it can be applied to outdoor education programs, but I’m relatively new to the risk management community. Because this was my first webinar and some of the GIANTS were listening in, I was nervous.
Based on a few measures of success, I think my webinar went pretty well: participants engaged in polls, they asked thoughtful questions, and they stayed with me until the end.
I also felt appreciated and respected when several of the GIANTS went out of their way to give me feedback right after the webinar. The folks who reached out to me have clearly given very difficult feedback in situations with far more at stake than my webinar, such as talking with instructors who made mistakes that led to injuries or death.
I want to share my experience with you so you can learn what the communication from these feedback masters had in common:
In addition, they drew on their experience as risk management GIANTS to educate me about what I needed to learn rather than scolding me for not knowing better. The result is that I feel like my webinar was appreciated and I am being welcomed into the risk management community. I realize that I have a lot to learn about incident databases, industry standards, and the legal underpinnings of managing risk, but I also believe that I also have a lot to offer in terms of the way we talk and think about risks on field programs. I also know that the industry GIANTS have my back – and yours – because they are committed to creating a supportive risk management community that deeply values learning from mistakes
My only regret with the webinar? That didn’t ask the giants for feedback sooner.
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