‘Cross-Training,’ from the Gym to the Classroom
“It happens every semester—when timid, nervous, shy, or glossophobic (afraid of public speaking) students find their voice and just nail a speech. I cherish that moment every time, and it confirms for me that I love what I do!”
As a wellness manager with Columbus Regional Hospital, Tatiana Kolovou taught wellness and health education seminars, fitness classes, and later, professional development seminars. But after 10 years in the fitness management industry, Kolovou was ready to expand her skill set: She earned an MBA, enabling her to start a successful career in human resources.
Now a Business Communication lecturer who has made presentations in 15 countries, Kolovou—a nonnative English speaker from Greece—helps her students feel comfortable with their communication skills. “The more you are aware of your communication surroundings and the better you can adapt, the more effective you will be.”
Keeping classes current: “I attend Kelley book clubs; sit in on colleagues’ classes; read executive book summaries and research articles from the Association for Business Communication; attend Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL) seminars; have a membership in the Association of Training and Development; and read Fast Company cover-to-cover each month.
“My consulting business in training and professional development constantly pushes me to be prepared, credible, and professional. I always have stories to bring into the classroom—and stories are the best way to learn.”
Fitness background: “One of the skills I still maintain from my days in the fitness trenches is to teach fitness classes. I particularly like teaching indoor cycling, and every time I lead a class I am reminded of the great cross-training it provides.” In both fitness and Business Communication courses, she applies communication skills. “As a speaker, I have to have a plan. I have to be clear. I have to exude energy and credibility—otherwise I lose trust.”
Best classroom moment: “It happens every semester—when timid, nervous, shy, or glossophobic (afraid of public speaking) students find their voice and just nail a speech. I cherish that moment every time, and it confirms for me that I love what I do!”
Favorite restaurant in Bloomington: “Anything sushi.”
Best coffee shop in Bloomington: “(And chocolate shop if you ask me.) BLU Boy Café on Kirkwood; my dear friend David owns it.”
What I love most about Bloomington: “The international atmosphere, the great outdoors, and the many locally owned businesses.”
What I do when I’m not teaching: “Chase my kids or try to keep up with my triathlon training partners on the bike, on the road, or in the pool.”