The 'knowledge tree' sounded like a great idea in my head. A great visual prop with brightly coloured gift tags for the delegates to right down their learning after each of the 6 sections we were running through during a workshop.
I had planned to use the leaf tags as part of a reflective exercise at the end of the session, but made a call to knock-it-on-the-head and changed the final exercise to a facilitated discussion, as it became clear that things were going to get overcrowded very quickly and getting up to place the tags was becoming rather monotonous.
Did I fail?
Yes, and no! As a Trainer, it's comfortable to find an activity that works well and repeat it with different audience’s time and again, making tiny adjustments as needs be. But 'repeat and succeed' can only support your own, and your learner’s development for so long. Facilitating creative learning pushes you to think more about your design process.
But with more creativity comes more opportunity to fail.
So, why bother?
Put simply, if a Trainer isn’t willing to try out new ways of engaging their learners, they’ll soon have no learners left to try anything with at all! In a world of instant gratification, our attention levels need more stimulation to learn. Building in creative activities into training sessions is just one way to help this.
Failure is an option, but…
No one plans to fail, but with failure comes insight, (and also a healthy dose of resilience!) So, the trick is to fail with a back-up plan that won't affect your learners experience or leave you in a flap!
I will use the tree again, but next time it will be more succinct, allowing my learner’s ‘leaves of knowledge’ to flourish and for my own creative design to continue.
When I landed my first official job as a Trainer for a large DIY store many moons ago, I was delighted! I learnt on the job, running rousing inductions and traveling the length and breadth of the UK to meet eager (my words not theirs) learners to induct them.
After some time, I realised that if I was going to progress to other forms of training i.e. Management Development, I was going to need to develop my own skills further. Back then the key attributes of a great Trainer were
Props can really help increase curiosity and engage learners in different ways to traditional discussion.
I used this prop during a Mini Masterclass about 'Proactive Management Conversations.' Can you tell what it is and why I might have used it?
This little selfie was taken during a talk (How to take a better business selfie!) at a networking meeting. As well as getting a decent photo, it also highlights the importance of looking at things from the 'other side'.
In my world, I interact with Managers, Trainers and Entrepreneurs regularly, and this 180 topic raises up quite frequently. I'm thinking this little exercise would be a great, quick example of how different things could be in different perspectives!
Interested in more training activity ideas....?
In 1982 the Mary Rose emerged from the Solent to see daylight for the first time in 437 years. I remember this not because of the significance of the event, but because my mum allowed me to stay home from school and watch it on the TV! I also remember gasping as the...
In training design, the 'flow' of the session is paramount. It’s like a well edited movie, you shouldn’t notice the edits, just the great story line. But, sometimes interjecting something unexpected can rouse us from our comfortable state and make us sit up and pay attention. This is often referred to as a ...
Wading through the detritus of garage items, I spotted two bags I recognised, my old training kits. Rummaging through the unsticky post-it notes and hardened blu-tac slabs, I found several training props, including...
The live on-line Q&A session was starting in 5 mins, and I was frantically making up questions just in-case no one asked any! Self-doubt is not something I’m used to feeling, especially having spent many years successfully running face-to-face training sessions! But here I was, about to hit ‘unmute’ on day one of our 5-day challenge, wishing...
There are two things I’ve learnt to distrust;
Both promise rewards;
I recently attended a Writers and Artists event at Bloomsbury Publishing in London. During the ‘How to Write for Children & Young Adult Conference,’ Smriti Prasadam-Halls, author of ‘Don’t call me sweet’ & ‘I love you night and day’ walked us through some of the basics of creating a successful picture book story. As I listened, it struck me...
Learning doesn't just happen in a training session. It happens all around us! Follow my ramblings and continue to see the world in a different light!