A notorious mistake made by most instruction designers and workshop facilitators — but not by us! — stems from providing brilliant theories but neglecting to focus on their willful application and immediate use by participants. It doesn’t matter how wise or powerful a tool might be if participants sit there bored, or with an objection or confusion about how to apply it.
We draw out and then stay with what is real and potentially most useful to participants. We employ practical methods of realizing that potential for each committed participant. We support and encourage direct application to things that matter most in their work (which sometimes includes and benefits relationships outside of work). We provide a safe learning crucible that is at once fun and constructive, helpful to their career, their productivity and ultimately “success” as they would define it.
We allow for great diversity of perspectives and cultures, styles and personalities. For example, we have the flexibility to entertain a discussion of the reasons participants initially think they cannot use the tools they’ve been learning. Often this integration is the most useful part and results in big wins for all parties.
Even if the theory seems correct and rational to us, each organization is unique and “one size fits all” training is too easily dismissed or ignored. Instead, we use powerful questions, attentive listening, humor, metaphor, and hard facts to sidestep resistance and bring forward participant’s examples and experience (providing more examples and skill-building experiences along the way) to deliver exceptional training value.
Facilitators that use collaboration and persuasion get better results than those who insist on one right answer (theirs).