I recently took part in a management training workshop. Aside from what I learned in the two days, it was very interesting to be a participant for once and not a trainer! As a participant, I was able to experience the training from a different perspective. Sometimes I felt a little bit nervous, especially during role plays. I hadn’t expected that. It certainly got me thinking about how I could transfer my experiences of being a participant into my training.
Encourage questions and check understanding
From time to time I didn’t understand the task that was set and I was always relieved when someone else asked the trainer to clarify what we had to do. It took a while for me to get comfortable enough to ask questions when I was confused. As a trainer, I can keep this in mind and make sure to check that everyone understands their task, or give people an extra minute to ask questions.
Power to the participants
One person in my group insisted on keeping his mobile phone turned on throughout the workshop and was constantly using it. The trainer asked a few times for him to stop using his phone but it wasn’t until I got annoyed and asked him, a fellow participant, did he understand that his behaviour was impacting other people. He then put his phone away. This was interesting for me as I would have normally thought the trainer carried the most authority in the room.
Encourage learning after the session
I was encouraged to read through my notes a few days after the workshop had finished. It only took a few minutes but it really helped me to remember what I had learned. That would be my top tip for learning. It sounds simple but actually finding the time to do it is another thing. In future I think I will make an Outlook appointment with myself, even if it is just for 15 minutes. I will encourage my participants to do the same.
It was tiring being a participant. What really worked for my concentration was to have multiple short breaks. Even a break of just a minute helped me gather my thoughts.
Send me your tips and ideas
What can the participants do to make the training a success? What does your trainer do to make the training interesting and useful for you? How important is training for you? And, do you also get nervous during role plays?