I have two days of training to deliver this week. I love delivering training.
You never know what the ‘crowd’ that you are going to deliver training to will be like. But I can conclude the following:
• It’s quite different delivering to a ‘team’ that already know each other and have their own ‘culture’ ingrained from delivering to a group of people that have travelled to your training and don’t know each other.
• If you work out a set of ‘ground’ rules before you deliver the training, it makes a much better ‘training space’ than if you don’t.
Something a wise and very experienced trainer (on a ‘training the trainers’ course) once taught me was this:
In any group you will get the following (it’s a bell curve again. i think you can get maslow and a bell curve to have relevance in just about any training):
A for Advocates – people that are already using whatever the training is about and completely ‘buy into’ it.
B for Bouncy Bubblies - I am not sure that was her term exactly but she meant people that are positive and want to sponge up all you have to offer.
C for Cynics - those that can get there but need a bit of convincing. These will ask challenging questions, not to disrupt or sabotage, but to enhance their learning and develop clarity.
D for Deadwood – those that simply refuse to receive any learning and challenge everything for the sake of challenging and to be all out-negative and disruptive, not for learning. She just wanted the word to begin with a ‘D’ – she meant it with ‘love’ (Jonathan).
And what this clear thinking and wise woman said was:
• Pitch your training to the Cynics. Convince them and your work is well done.
• Avoid locking horns with the Deadwood. As tempting as it is – especially if you become rattled, if you engage in trying to convince the inconvincibles and put lots of effort into attempting to persuade them, you will have neglected the As, Bs and Cs and will have achieved nothing (other than a heated debate and some bad feeling in the room).
I loved this advice.
As a delegate I am mostly B by a long way unless, as sometimes happens, the training is awful and ineptly delivered. Then I will become a C or possibly even a D. I love learning and if the training is well composed, I will lap up everything there is on offer. Unless I really need something clarified, I leave the challenging until after the session when I reflect upon what I have learned and challenge my own understanding.
Luckily for me, as a trainer, I don’t encounter too many Ds even though a lot of my field could be perceived as sensitive and controversial - especially sex and relationships education. When I do, I heed the advice I have been given.
Now I might have talked myself into a training room full of deadwood this week. Still – great for art projects.