“The fatal metaphor of progress, which means leaving things behind us, has utterly obscured the real idea of growth, which means leaving things inside us.” G. K. Chesterton
What do trainers leave inside their trainees? There are the various states of mind that trainers can stir in their trainees. Some of these states of mind are desirable and others are not. With an appreciative nod to Paul Simon and his “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,” here are some of the desirable and undesirable states of mind that trainees may have when they walk out of a training program:
- Clear about what they were supposed to learn, or
- Wondering why they had to attend the training.
- Partnered with the facilitator in a collaborative learning process, or
- Reeling from having their knowledge and experience discounted and disrespected.
- Glad to be learning something new and important to them, or
- Just happy for a day off from work.
- Relaxed and encouraged, or
- Upset with how they were treated.
- Confident in their own knowledge skills, or
- In awe of the trainer’s knowledge and skills.
- Physically comfortable, or
- Praying for a break.
- Safe and protected, or
- Emotionally raw.
- Focused on what matters, or
- Completely overwhelmed.
- Totally engaged, or
- Bored and blasé.
- More energized than when they entered the classroom, or
- Almost comatose.
- Feeling the investment of time was worthwhile, or
- Bemoaning the time wasted.
- Ready to get going, or just
- Anxious to get out of there.
- Willing to give changed policies or procedures a try, or
- Still resistant to the proposed changes.
- Prepared to use what they’ve learned, or
- Armed with theoretical but no practical skills.
- Eager for more or,
- Completely turned off.
- Excited and confident, or
- Concerned about what happens next.
- Ready to address the challenges they will face, or
- Unsure of their ability to put what they learned into practice.
- Celebrating success, or
- Confused about what just hit them.
- Sure about where to begin, or
- Worried about the lack of support once they get back on the job.
- Appreciative of the learning opportunity, or
- Turned off by the entire experience.
According to Dr. Madeline Hunter and the UCLA Mastery Teaching Model, trainers can increase the probability of learning by the decisions they make regarding: (1) the content they teach, (2) the learning activities they use, and (3) the learning environment they create. Make sure your decisions enable your trainees to leave your programs enlightened and positive, rather than confused and negative.
May your learning be sweet.