Saturday, 28 November 2009
As is deemed good practice, after any training session, I dish out evaluations for participants to complete. Over the years, the feedback I have received has not so much informed my practice - only twice has feedback meant that I changed how I did something - but taught me about human nature.
From years of completed evaluations handed to me I have learnt:
1) Some people are optimistic and some are pessimistic. Some people expressive, some reserved. Whatever the session, the way the evaluation is completed usually tells me more about the person that filled it in than the training I delivered.
2) It would be hard to deliver the perfect session for everyone because people are so diverse. One person's favourite part of the day will be another's least favourite.
3) I never assume I have read a person's body language correctly. Many times people have sat stoney-faced with their arms folded and never made a contribution to any discussion only to go on to write the most positive and enthusiastic evaluation. I suspect this is just to do with introversion!
4) As a trainer, I only ever receive the criticism in the sea of compliments. That's a prevalent human behaviour. (I will add in an un-British way - I rarely get criticisms!)
I am a highly reflective practitioner and actually the evaluation that has most impact is my own - the one I do in my head after a session. And strangely, even when every written evaluation received has been startlingly positive, if I was dissatisfied with something - I will feel unsettled that evening!
So if you want advice on filling in an evaluation meaningfully, by all means give praise - everyone loves that, but if something wasn't for you, explain what you would have liked - suggestions not criticisms - and the trainer is far more likely to change his or her ways!