How much room can be left for improvisation in training?
“AS A TRAINER, DO YOU HAVE TO PLAN EVERYTHING IN ADVANCE? HOW MUCH ROOM CAN BE LEFT FOR IMPROVISATION?”
* You can can find Pascal on Twitter
This is what I replied (although I won’t quote all the previous comments here…)
I focus not on content or on “key messages” but on “desired learning outcomes”
That way, I can:
- Avoid being the expert who comes with things to impart on the non-experts, but rather a facilitator of learning. Someone who helps the others discover things for themselves…
- Keep myself concentrated on the end-goal, when we go off in different directions
My particular definition of learning : Acquisition and Implementation of Required Competences
- Competence is defined as knowledge, skills and attitude
- Since people acquire competences in different ways, we need to be open to facilitating learning in whichever way is suitable for the participants. Partly, this means being able to detect that style/need before training and partly during training. This will always require flexibility.
- I think the need to improvise will be more necessary with regard to dealing with attitude and skill learning, than with knowledge. Knowledge sharing can be planned much more precisely (although we will of course need to leave open moments for verification and Q/A).
As we move into the creative GEN-Y 21st century, participants will accept less and less that we come with a script for training
See this short film of a recent young training participant David Smeets (“what is important is that it is not led by a table of contents, but by our needs ….. …and that the trainer is not just an expert”)
- People will try to create their own “learnscape” where they can get what they need in the way that suits them.
- If this is in training, then (according to @angler) we will need to modify our approach training to include “features that make hanging out on social sites compelling” (commenting, rating, profiles, tagging, rich media). You can see more on this on my Prezi “Social Media Social Trainer” here http://prezi.com/ie93jvqgupta/social-media-social-trainer – note that the Epsilon session on 14th FEB 2012 (French) will be on this topic.
Then there is the question of leadership styles ….
If you believe in situational leadership, you know you need to adapt your style based on the development level of people. In training, this is applicable in the following way:
- If participants are motivated, but non-able and non-knowledgeable, you will need to direct them (meaning more prepared content).
- If they can be coached, you can simply come with a learning objective and get them to figure things out themselves, with your help asking the right questions and supplying a rich learning environment where they have resources and time available
- Maybe you can even delegate learning 100% – just give them 8 hours and a mission!
And Motivation 3.0 has an impact on training as well…
Regarding DRIVE, if you buy into @DanielPinks ideas on Motivation in the 21st Century (see famous RSA animation on the subject http://www.youtube.com/user/dansteerchannel#p/f/12/u6XAPnuFjJc ) then motivation = autonomy, mastery and purpose.
Apply this to training and you need to give participants:
- A clear mission
- The chance to figure things out for themselves
- The possibility of improvement (meaning, time, tools and good feedback process)
Finally, don’t forget: Qui dit apprentissage, ne dit pas forcement formation (meme si c’était le question de depart ici).
…you may also see that I didn’t deal with “implementing” learning here, but that’s for another evening 🙂
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