Written by: Elan Thomas

PDW Group have recently co-developed and delivered a Development Programme for Openfield, a leading supplier/partner to the UK farming industry. We spoke to Kit Dickinson of Openfield about his experience on the ‘Openfield Development Programme’, his expectations and the highlights of his personal journey.

People talking in an office

Before the programme began what were you expecting and what did you actually experience in the PDW Group workshops?

“If I’m going to be completely honest, I don’t really know. Probably another bog standard training day where after lunch you are looking at the clock thinking when is 5 O’clock going to come. However, the first time we came to you at Colwick, we went back to the hotel as a group and all said it was amazing how much we learnt in the first day. We were immediately discussing open questions and 4P’s (a technique we use in our workshops), we had already begun reinforcing what we had learnt.

I have been to lots of training days and I have never felt like all I wanted to do was more. None of us wanted to stop. It is all so professional and if you want to have a confidential conversation you know you can have it which I really like. I like the fact you can go back and watch yourself and think ‘hmm I didn’t know I did that!”

What did you think of the role play and coaching aspect of the experiential workshop?

“The few things that really resonate in my mind are the one to one sessions and doing the role play. They were fantastic and really reinforced and allowed you to practise what you were taught down stairs in the lecture theatre environment. It gives you a chance to practise, make a mistake, learn from that mistake and change it. Then practise it again in the correct manner.

I liked the fact that you were put with different support consultants – ensuring there was a variety of characters and personalities. Which in our job is relevant as everyone is different and have their own little quirks.”

What was particularly different about the programme for you?

“When we came back we were able to recap over what we had done or learnt in our specific jobs and how the training had worked. We were also given the opportunity to tweak or change the workshop slightly so it catered to our needs, all of which was taken on board.

Throughout the process Tim has been really supportive. He has guided me in what to do and how to do it. This is something I have never had before as normally when the people walk out the room the training is over and you never hear from them again. However with PDW Group we had everything at out fingertips when we left!”

What were the key learnings and skills most relevant to your job role?

“The key thing that has helped me in my current role is being able to handle and deal with objections. Sometimes we will have farmers with objections and it is important to deal with that objection in a professional manner. Now that’s exactly what we have to be able to do – I’ve already used PDW Group techniques and it has gone well.”

What was the key ‘stand-out’ of the programme for you?

“I don’t know if I have just one highlight. All the workshops have been useful and productive. The best part of the training for me was working with the support consultants, I enjoyed and got the most out of this. I also enjoyed getting to know both my colleagues and everyone at PDW Group. It was a great advantage having the training at PDW’s Development Centre because if it was back in the office you would be inclined to check your emails. When you are somewhere completely different you can get into a different frame of mind. In the future if there were any more workshops I would encourage it to be at the Colwick development centre.”

To find out more about our People Development Workshops click here.

If you’d like to share Kit’s experience first-hand, sign up for our next free workshop taster session.

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