How many of you have attended training in the last year? Were you faced with what we find too often – a talented instructor sharing his/her expertise by lecturing, talking, and telling… but NOT engaging? At Leadership Strategies, we believe in “Sharing the Power of Facilitation,” and one of the many ways we do that is through the delivery of skills training not by instructing but by facili-training on the part of our facilitators. What does that mean? At a high level, it is the very meaning of facilitation – we make it easy… easy for the participants. We help them learn by engaging them, by making the session address their needs and by helping them learn rather than simply being the content experts.
To serve as examples of what we mean by that, here are tips and techniques:
- Making the training fun… That’s right – fun. Our belief is training can be and should be fun. That requires a facilitator to plan the training using our technique, OPQRST, for every agenda item/module so that at the end of the day, participants are asking themselves, “Where did the day go?” and not, “When will this day be over?” What is the OPQRST? It represents:
- Order of the process: Does the training follow a logical flow? Does each module build upon the prior and and help position the next module?
- Process technique: How will we engage the participants? How will we ensure they are active learners and not passive learners? How will we avoid teaching them what they already know and, instead, have them share their experiences within the training environment?
- Question: How will we apply the visual questioning technique we find so helpful in allowing participants to “see their answers” before we ask that open-ended question?
- Recording format: What visual aids and recording devices will we use? How will we appeal to the visual learners, the auditory learners and the kinesthetic learners?
- Supplies: What supplies will we need to facili-train that module?
- Timing: What is our planned time for that module?
- Sharing the experiences of the participants orchestrated by the facili-trainer… As outlined above, participants do not enjoy being taught what they already know. Using the interactive, engagement techniques, we find out which participants have knowledge and expertise in the session and have a myriad of techniques that encourage and allow them to share that in the training environment.
- Using interesting methods to deliver the facili-training… Rather than the “old stand-by of lecturing,” we explore 12 instructional techniques (e.g. case studies, feedback activities, icebreakers, etc.) and over 30 engagement strategies that we have used for over 20 years of delivering training that is Practical, Dynamic and Interactive – the LSI PDI Difference.
- Using repetition to solidify the key concepts so that participants leave with significant knowledge and the ability to apply that learning… Adult learning theory states that when a participant hears something one time, there is a retention of about 10% in 90 days. When they hear, see and work with a technique up to six times, that retention rate increases to as muh as 90% in the same timeframe. We use techniques including “backward build-up” – daily reviews to open and close each session to help with that repetition.
Learn more about how you and your trainers can be stronger facili-trainers in our three-day training course, Facilitation Skills for Trainers.
By Richard Smith, Certified Master Facilitator and Director, Leadership Strategies
Richard is a Certified Master Facilitator and Director of Facilitation at Leadership Strategies. In addition to leading the development and training of Leadership Strategies’ core team of facilitators, Richard’s specialty areas include facilitation training, strategic planning, process improvement, information needs analysis, and issue resolution.