The Hummingbird Learning Method® certainly works for what we could collectively call ‘school work’ but did you know that you can use all of our essential skills in your everyday life. I use them all the time, in fact I use them so innately now that I had to sit back & break down into bite sized pieces how I used them last week in preparing for, during and after my interview for the 2015 Dairymaster Rural Innovation Awards.
The Dairymaster Rural Innovation Awards are an all-Ireland, all-island Award for innovations that can make a real difference on farms which have a commercial application, innovations in any rural business as it is a key economic driver for farm families right across Ireland and innovations that make society a better place, ensuring a vibrant forward looking community.
Our local Leader company, West Limerick Resources, suggested that we apply to the awards and as you can imagine, we were thrilled here at Hummingbird Learning Centre to have gotten through to the interview stage of the competition. And so began the preparation for the interview and the trip to Fermoy in Co Cork where it was taking place.
I have driven to Fermoy about 5 times in my life and while I had the address, I was unsure as to where exactly the building I was to go to was. So I ran the movie in my head of my trip to Fermoy. I recalled in as much detail as I could the towns & villages that I would pass through. I imagined it in glorious sunshine and pouring rain. I chose the music that I would play on the journey and imagined myself listening to it. I imagined all of the country smells that I might get on the way down, that particular smell when caught behind a tractor with a slurry tank, the smell of freshly cut grass, that peculiar Irish smell of a sunny spring day that holds the potential to turn into a long hot summer. I imagined my frustration if stuck in traffic and imagined how I would deal with it.
Then, in vivid detail I saw myself leaving the Teagasc building in Fermoy, with a huge smile after the interview going really well. I asked myself what would have had to have happened for me to have that feeling and I allowed my mind to fill in the blanks. I revelled in that feeling and made it really strong.
Holding on to that wonderful feeling, I then began to mind map what I wanted to say during the interview. We weren’t given any guidelines as to what we would be asked about so I went through the application form, the website and details of former winners in order to glean the buzzwords around which to build my mindmap. Once I had that I was able to add my Hummingbird Learning buzzwords and now I had a frame work around which I could practice my presentation. I knew exactly what I wanted to say and how to say it.
Before the interview I arrived early and left all electronic devices behind me in the car. This allowed me to get grounded before I met the interviewers. I chatted to the receptionist as she brought me down to the waiting room and then I read the Teagasc report on the table and when through my own notes again. All the time I made sure that I stayed grounded with both feet were on the floor – at the same time!
During the interview, I kept my feet on the floor and projected my mind map onto the wall behind the interviews (figuratively speaking of course). Naturally, there were questions that I hadn’t anticipated but by knowing my buzzwords I was able to get through them fine. The interviewers were also very supportive and offered advice on how to grow Hummingbird Learning Centre.
As I write, the short list for the final stage of the competition has not been issued. Of course I would love to progress but even if I don’t it was a fantastic achievement for us to have gotten this far in such a prestigious competition. For me though, something I’m really proud of is that by using the Hummingbird Learning Method® I had that huge smile on my face and that wonderful feeling that I had only imagined when preparing for the interview, was with me all the way home in the car as I sang in the glorious sunshine of a rural Irish spring day.