Archive for the ‘Facilitation Proficiency’ category

6 Proven Methods To Make A Dry Training Session Come Alive

April 4, 2009

There are times whereby you have to conduct trainings that are highly technical, theoretical or academic-based. To a trainer, one of the first few considerations in such seminars include how to work with the participants without losing their attention or having them dozing off. A challenge worth taking on indeed.

As the training engagements came in, I’ve encountered the different training subjects that provided varying levels of complexity. Not only is one limited by training time, there are also a number of constraints that affect the outcome and quality of the training. When the topics demand such rigorous examination, the audience interaction may need to be better planned and balanced. One must create some ways to make the training come alive and with vibrancy.

Hence, here are some quick tips I can offer you when you are faced with dry training sessions:

1. Address the WIIFM: What’s In It for Me. Make them accept and understand the importance of your topic to their work.

2. Share captivating personal examples and stories. This will make them sit up and listen to you instead of just being focus on the bullet points. For example, when you point out a concept, share the stories after that on how you applied the concepts.

3. Make your PowerPoint slides interesting to view. You can use graphics and filling it with colors. Test out your PowerPoint to ensure they get the point across yet can be interesting to look at. (This is mostly applicable for dry topics. For soft skills, it must be to tone it down instead.)

4. Keep the information simple unless this is a full academic course requiring close examination, keep the concepts easy on the ear and just highlight the major points. The details can be read by them in the notes. It’s not that you are under performing, it’s that human mind cannot take in so much deep information at one go. If you must go heavy, may sure you spread out the deep academic contents through the trainings.

5. Energizers are also useful whenever you see the energy and enthusiasm dipping. They can go beyond mere clips and can include mini exercises such as head rotation and arm stretching.

6. Vary your tone, body language and delivery to keep the audience glued to your “performance”. Grab their attention with jokes, quizzes and mini-rewards if you wish. Let them know you are the ‘star of the moment’.

(Source: wekie.com)

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How You Can Master The Art Of Training

March 30, 2009

This year has been extremely amazing, the trainings contract and speaking engagement have been coming in much more and faster than before. These few weeks continuously saw the training sessions lined up one after another. Thus, it provided me plenty of great opportunities to interact with so many people. I thank them ever so sincerely for the chance to share with them. It has made my work as a trainer and public speaker so worthwhile.

Throughout life, we seek improvement and progress. In order to attain greater advancement, we acquire attitudes, skills, techniques and strategies that will propel us towards our dreams. And behind the scene, within every lesson and workshop that you attend, is the person who ensures that you gain such competency, the Trainer.

When I was conducting the workshop, Train-The-Trainer, for a major government institution a few weeks ago, I stressed on the importance and responsibilities of the trainer. We are not here just to spend time nor pass the days. We are here to transfer the skills of competency, from a newbie to a ‘know-how’, from a know-how to an expert. We should seek to make this difference in our participants’ lives.

The 5 day training came to a most touching conclusion, where all of us, the participants-trainers and I, reaffirmed our commitment towards adding the value to our future participants and quality to our trainings. We had got to know each other better over these days of teaching, of practice and of sharing. I know in the deepest of my heart that they will emerge better trainers than before. They had shown that they had it in them.

The journey to become a trainer is by no means easy. While the ‘Trainer’ tag is easily pinned on, the expertise and effectiveness is hardly a god-given. It takes continuous learning, coupled with fine-tuning for betterment.

In a nutshell, here’s how you can master your training skills:

1. Get some experience in training. Being in the game is important, and experience is what is needed. You need to step into this industry first.

2. Get some humility to learn from your previous training experiences. Without humility, you can’t learn effectively.

3. Get reflective on how you can improve from your encounters, content delivery and training methodologies.

4. Get a mentor from the training industry who will coach you, share specific training techniques and help you work on your training skills intensively.

5. Get feedback from participants and observers. They can highlight ways where you can better appeal to them and enhance their learning.

6. Get creative. Experiment with ways to deliver your training so that you can discover your style of delivery.

7. Get on your feet! Nothing beats the power of taking action. Persistent action.

Here’s wishing you the very best in your training career!

(Source: wekie.com)

The Art Of Making Your Mentorship Meaningful

January 24, 2009

It was early this week that I met up with my various Mentees. I’ve always enjoyed such meetings because this offers an opportunity to catch up as well as speak up on the different issues faced, both in communication and in life.

Upon reflection and recollection of my mentorship workshops, I took greater strides to apply some of the concepts into my mentoring style. Because of the different personalities and experience you’ll come to face with from others, the mentorship relationship becomes ever evolving. That’s why mentoring is an art in itself.

When you employ the strategy and tools of mentorship, you effectively put in gear the cycle of change. It takes tact in communication and sensitivity in implementation. Very much have to be tied down and set up between the two of you, be it you being the mentor or the mentee.

I suggest employing the art of creating a “Meaningful Mentorship” by paying attention to the following pointers:

For Mentors:

1. Inculcate the spirit of sharing for the two of you.

2. Understand that learning is two-way. While your mentee learns from you, so can you learn.

3. Create a culture of mutual communication for trust and reliability.

For Mentees:

1. Know what makes your mentor tick so that you know how to maximize his accomplishments.

2. Ask the right questions to get the best practices.

3. Respect and show appreciation to your mentor. When you show appreciation, your mentor feels appreciated and is willing to support you further, giving more in the process.

(Source: wekie.com)

The 5 Major Keys To Facilitating Ideas Effectively

December 14, 2008

When I completed training the government leaders on Facilitation Skills last week, I was pleased with how this useful skill would open up the mindset of many people. After all, what we are looking at is the regulation and facilitation of ideas, thoughts and opinions. And everyone will somewhat have certain level of viewpoint. Even choosing to not have an opinion is also an opinion.

What matters most the essence of getting these ideas out of the person’s mind, conjured and packaged into something useful, practical and applicable. While these are always subjective, they still contribute somewhat to the progress. All it takes is a shift in paradigm.

Hence, the following crucial keys will prove useful whenever you facilitate ideas and thoughts with your group:

1. Never discount the value of an idea without first putting it to fair examination of worthiness.

2. Create the safe, encouraging environment for sharing.

3. Realize that an idea need not stand alone. It can be combined and rehashed with other ideas.

4. Set the ground rules of interaction and ensure that everybody is on the same page.

5. Just because there are critiques to the idea does not imply that the idea is not workable.

(Source: wekie.com)

The 5 Key Dynamics You Must Pay Attention To When You Communicate And Solve Problems With Your Team

November 17, 2008

A quick check with my schedule indicated that the past few days were absolutely packed with various trainings. The pace of living a life as a public speaker, trainer and consultant has picked up tremendously over the years. To me, this is somewhat a sign of the growing need and recognition for Professional Excellence trainings, speaking engagements and personal consultations as well as an increase in the participants’ willingness to upgrade themselves.

No longer is it possible to just be contented with fundamental technical skills, the soft skills aspects are now the essentials. It’s not just the norm, but it’s so necessary that even companies are demanding that their staffs know how to build better relationships with quality communication. This is even more so when problems abound at work, and, to a fair degree, exist in their personal lives.

Hence just 2 days ago, on Saturday, I completed Day 2 of the “Communication and Problem Solving for Leaders” training. In this customized in-house workshop for that multi-national cooperation, I explored with the leader-participations the range of key dynamics in leading people via effective communication, resulting in better ways to solve work problems and issues.

I also made sure that these learning points were easy and quick to apply with fast results. When the participants gave their input, I was highly delighted when they integrated the communication concepts into their demonstrations.

Taking it further, some of the key dynamics that you must pay attention to whenever you are communicating with your team to solve problems include:

1. The Agreement on the values and ultimate outcome or objectives of the project.

2. The Acceptance of the ground rules during the exploration of the issues and the discussion of the problems.

3. The Understanding of the flow of the problem solving model and process.

4. The Willingness to suspend personal biasness and let go of the limitations in perceptions.

5. The Intention to cooperate with each other in working towards resolving the problems.

(Source: wekie.com)

5 Relevant Reframes To Help You Reframe Your Problems

November 1, 2008

One of the most common encounters I have in my trainings is that I get asked with regard to how to solve problems. And these problems placed before me range from work-place issues, career conflicts, personal motivation blockages, social and romantic relationship queries, marital concerns, life threatening obstacles and the likes. It’s always refreshing and an useful brain exercise in quick thinking to guide them in reframing these problems.

Yesterday’s training “Reframing Problems Into Opportunities” dealt specifically with resolving problems itself. The participants opened up to share and we take another look into how problems can be perceived differently. Lots of interesting cases were thrown up, examined, diagnosed and possible future were presented to them. It was most mentally stimulating indeed.

Hence, here are some of the relevant reframes we discussed. When employed, they will enable you to better reframe your problems.

1. Everything you read, encounter and experience is an attempt at reframing the problems in your life.

2. See them as issues and situations, rather than as problems.

3. Understand that for every issue, there are at least 2 sides of the coins.

4. You can choose, if you choose to. Therefore, choose to choose first.

5. The key lies in the solutions you have, not the problems you are having.

(Just a quick point to add: If the problems in your life get too overwhelming or unbearable, please get a coach or mentor now. Talk to him or her immediately. Time is of the essence.)

(Source: wekie.com)

7 SHAREEE Ways To Create, Build And Sustain A Successful Mentoring Relationship

October 7, 2008

I was giving a talk tonight to the NUS Toastmasters about Mentoring. Over the months, the Club has managed to put together a more formalized Mentorship Program. The response tonight was overwhelming and the energy was extremely high. Kudos to the organizers for their efforts in bringing everyone, both the Mentors and Mentees, to the same place.

During my segment, I shared with the audience the 7 useful ways to create, build and sustain the relationship between Mentors and Mentees that will foster camaraderie. It’s a series of SHAREEE ways:

System. Have a system of contact and guidance, both agreeable between the mentor and the mentee.

Honesty. Be acceptable to frank opinions and be open to share constructive criticism.

Accessibility. You can’t build a relationship with an invisible man. Both of you will have to be somewhat accessibility and available to each other, to some reasonable degree.

Reflective. This enables you to reflect on your learning and progress as time passes, deepening the value of such a mentoring relationship

Empathy. Be in each other’s shoes to understand the inner motivations and causes of behaviours. This will enhance mutual appreciation of where the other party comes from.

Experienced. The Mentor will have to be experienced in guiding and providing suitable advice. The Mentee, on the other hand, will gain experience in being mentored the right way and benefit accordingly.

Excelling. Both of you must eventually grow in your own right and be excelling in your own designed dimensions. This becomes proves that your mentoring relationship is positive and has worked for you.

In short, you Excel Beyond Excellence!

Source: wekie.com