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Helping people to improve themselves

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In our NORMAPeople series, our employees from around the world report on their daily work, how they joined the company and what they appreciate about their work.

Barbara Renshaw is Pricing Analyst at NORMA Group‘s site in Auburn Hills, USA. She has been with NORMA Group for over thirty years. In the interview, she reports on her work at NORMA Group and her volunteering as a Dale Carnegie coach.

How long have you been working at NORMA Group and what are your tasks?

I have been with NORMA Group for 33 years now. The time has passed so fast. I started working for Torca in the late 1980s. Torca is a company that was first acquired by Breeze in 2003 and was thus part of NORMA Group's acquisition of Breeze in 2007. For me and my colleagues, there have always been numerous opportunities to develop and grow with the company. I think this is one of the reasons why so many colleagues from the USA have been with the company for so long.

At the beginning of my career at NORMA Group I was working on the production floor in Auburn Hills. Since than I have held many positions such as Customer Service, Staff Accountant, Cost Accountant, Accounting Manager, Controller, and Senior Accountant. Today, I work as a Pricing Analyst for the Americas EJT Sales Group. I assist the sales team with gathering cost and preparing the quotation analysis for the account manager to review in order to get Management approval for quoting the customer. I also prepare customer cost breakdowns when requested and other analysis as needed.

What do you like about your work?

I enjoy working with the different groups of people from different locations. In the past few years, I have worked with so many fascinating and inspiring people. Moreover, I like conducting different analysis and by that help the account managers meet our customers’ needs.

In addition to your work at NORMA Group, you are also involved as a Dale Carnegie coach. What kind of classes are these and what exactly are you – as a coach – doing there?

In a nutshell, Dale Carnegie Coaching is all about communication, motivation, positive thinking and self-confidence. Many people who take the Dale Carnegie course have goals they are working towards. Many have been sent by their employers or are taking the class themselves for self-improvement. Sharing experiences with people shows them they are not alone. It also gives people confidence to share stories they have never shared before, knowing they have someone who will listen. Our classes are safe places as what happens in class stays in class.

As a coach we are providing support for the class members to help them work towards the goals and vision they set for themselves during the class. It is very rewarding to see how people grow from the first class to the last class. Even as a Coach, I also learn something from each class that I participate in.

Coaches give sample talks for the class members showing them what their talks should look like. We also provide assistance to class members in preparing their talks, answer questions, or work as their partner when practicing their talks. We also help the instructor by calling names of the class members for the talks, time talks, take notes, pass out ballots, take attendance, count votes, hand out awards, pass out other paperwork, and any other activities needed to support the class.

How did you get into the Dale Carnegie course? Did you do a course yourself?

A few years ago, a manager I worked with felt that I might need some training to improve myself, to lose the fear of speaking in public and getting in front of people. Today I can say, that taking this course was one of the best decisions I ever made. It not only helped me in my professional life, but also in my personal life.

After I finished my class, I wanted to help others to improve themselves. And that is why I became a Dale Carnegie coach myself.

Now, I have been a coach since 2014. I am doing this to help other people. I want them to be able to get the same lifechanging experiences at Dale Carnegie, as I did. I am also doing this to continue my personal growth. My coaching experiences have helped me with my work at NORMA Group and in my personal life with family and friends on how I work with others and in how I handle situations.

What do like most about the coaching?

Through the coaching, I met wonderful new people and am keeping the contact. I developed myself through the coaching. For example, I am no longer afraid to speak in front of people and I am also more open to strangers. Moreover, I learned how to get out of my comfort zone and to be open to new things. I think this is very important, especially in times like these, where we are often thinking in our bubbles. Keeping an open mind is essential and by having an open mind, you can solve a lot of different challenges and situations.

What do you wish for the future?

Today and in the future, I want to continue coaching to help others, continue my self-improvement, and apply my experiences to help NORMA Group. Furthermore, I would also like to become a Dale Carnegie Instructor. This is a little more than a coach. You stand in front of the class, acting as a kind of teacher, more often. I already started the instructor training at the beginning of last year. Due to COVID-19 it is now on hold, but I hope to be able to continue the training soon.

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