Trainer Resources – 4 Actions To Help You Avoid A Training Day from Hell – Protecting Yourself In The Classroom – by Matthew Hill

How can you prevent horrible feedback, crazy conflict and difficult delegate behaviour?

We have all been there. It starts with a funny feeling in your stomach and then a look or comment from one of the alphas in the room. What is happening? you ask. Am I loosing the room? Lunch is tense and then, there comes an excuse why a few people don’t give in their paper feedback forms at the end of the day. You leave feeling that you put in plenty of effort but that, somewhere along the way, you and the room parted company and were travelling along different roads.

Group Of Businesspeople Gossiping

Horrible Feedback is Horrible

The next day you receive a troubled E Mail from your L&D contact within the company or the provider who supplied you with the subcontract day. And it is all bad news from then on in.

There follows a list of your “crimes” and how negative and upset the room were. Etc. etc. etc.

STOP

It does not have to end like this. Let us make the classroom safe for you again with 4 simple actions…

  1. Rules of Engagement

I always offer up an agreement at the beginning of a training day, coaching or even a speaking engagement. It shows professionalism and represents a light negotiation with the audience where they have a chance to shape the experience they expect and sign up to some rules emotionally. Ultimately, they will get more from you and your session.

My favourite one is, “Be Teachable”. It sounds simple and is profound. Do they think they know this stuff already? Will they have strong opinions about your content? Have they been brainwashed with stereotypes and are poised to attack?

By asking them to take a fresh look and let the material in, you are setting up a space that will allow for maximum exchange with minimum conflict. (Civilised challenge is allowed and even encouraged – Not disruptive conflict.)

And, when we add, “Respect Each Other”, you are sending a deep message about honour and civilised behaviour that will sink into the unconscious minds of the tricky participants and so protect yourself by raising THEIR self- awareness.

  1. Facilitate more than Tell

In these modern times, spraying theory at bored pupils will no longer be accepted. The room now want their share of the microphone and to tell their story.

Interrupt less, correct less and listen more.

Listen at a deeper level and add constructive input at the end. No more death by detail, 75 word slides and learning by rote. Now we are flipping the classroom with interactive exercises and intelligent debriefing. The less you say the more the class will enjoy your session.

  1. Less Essentialist and More Co – Constructed.

I still meet Interculturalists who can’t wait to put flags all over bi-polar dimensions, talk about China and India as if they were homogenous monocultures and peddle sophisticated stereotype as if it where going to help a remote team or diverse group dealing with the stresses and strains of an urgent and important project.

Let us take some responsibility upon ourselves to keep up with the modern world.

  1. Your Authentic Story

Your delegate’s exposure to Social Media and Netflix box sets has whetted their appetite for compelling narrative (and it better be as real as possible.)

Converting your personal experience into useful stories that carry a transferrable wisdom is a great way to engage your audience, build rapport with the group and get them on your side.

Dig to find a relevant story and share it at the right moment. Not too long and told from a humble or witty perspective. Keep the story light, though the meaning may be deeper.

So, with these 4 tools, we can avoid the alpha challenge that signals the end of learning for the day and the start of an awkward defence of your training style and content.

Go save a life – Yours.

Good luck with your next group session…

Matthew Hill is an Intercultural trainer, coach and author.

Contact him at hillmatthew100@mac.com

 

Advertisements

TTT Train the trainer – The 3 S’s of TTT – State, Style and Structure – An overview by Matthew Hill

When junior trainers are about to start their day shadowing me in the corporate classroom, they will often ask, “What is required to deliver a good training day?”

Great question.

My answer is to highlight the 3 S’s

Classroom.

Small Classroom

  1. State – The energy and focus in the room and what you wish to do with it.
  2. Style – What is the preferred learning style of the overall group and each individual? And,
  3. Structure – How are you going to set out the day to land your material, take the participants on a constructive learning journey in such a way that the lessons from your content are going to stick?

Let’s develop this and see what’s important…

**1. State – A 1,000 external factors affect the state of the room at the beginning of any facilitated session – weather, the economy, day of the week, company performance, the politics of the company – redundancies / rapid growth / merger or acquisition etc.

And, if you have a room full of introverted people or workers that do not see your topic as vital, interesting or even relevant, then you can assume that the room will feel cold and distant. So, what can you do about it?

The simplest method and one that has yet to fail is the solo – pair – group formation. It starts with you asking something simple such as, “Working on your own, remember back to your worst customer experience from last year. What were they like and what was difficult about them?” If they are an extremely withdrawn group you don’t even have to debrief the exercise with shout outs.

This will engage the participants whilst maintaining their sense of security as the work is private and kept in their heads.

Next phase, “In pairs, share your stories and compare them to see if there are any common themes.” Here you have overcome most of the reluctance to speak as everyone has generated some content that they can talk about. Facilitating a share or two in the debrief can start to get the crowd moving.

Then, the big one. Arranging the delegates into groups of 3 (for the quietest of groups) up to 5 or 7 people, ask them to discuss actions, brainstorm suggestions or analyse what is going on – either using one of their generated scenarios or a case that you have prepared that has some obvious treasures in and some hidden gems as well.

**2. Style – When it comes to how we take in information, process it, use it or remember it, people react differently. There are 4 main styles emerging from the research of Kolb, Honey and Mumford. The main types can be responded to in your training to make sure you catch everybody and create a successful day.

            Activist – Doer – An inductive and practical person that learns as they do. They will be best engaged with a brainstorming, divergent exercise, solving a problem, discussing in a group, attempting a puzzle, or being given a competition or role-play to perform.

            Reflector – Watcher – An observer, chewing over that has happened – Their favourite activities in the classroom include a self-analysis audit or questionnaire, taking on the official observer role in a game, being the feedback giver to others in a group, or, using the interview format.

            Theorist – Thinker – Probably a deductive thinker. Theorists are best engaged when the facilitator provides a model, facts or statistics to crunch. They appreciate plenty of context and background information and then being given the chance to apply a newly learnt theory to a particular scenario.

            Pragmatist – Feeler – The opposite of Theorists and Reflectors, these inductive thinkers like to get stuck in and do something, experiencing the world and coming up with theories as they go. For them a practical application such as a simulation will work well, or a case study that they find relevant. They appreciate the opportunity of getting down and dirty with a problem and figuring things out for themselves. Get them building a tower with multiple iterations and you will hit the spot.

An intake form sent our before the training can help you assess the largest style present in the group allowing you to adapt your material and exercises accordingly.

**3. Structure – Whilst the design of a classroom day will be tailored to the mission, the company and the group in the room, there are common elements that will help you get your group to a great learning outcome.

            Introduction – Meeting the audience where they are NOW, promising a specific benefit to them as an outcome and, vitally, agreeing the rules of engagement for the day, especially with a more volatile or testing group.

            Warm up – Something to get the brain going and for you, the facilitator, the chance to assess their styles in real time. How many activists, reflectors, theorists and pragmatists are showing up in the room?

            Win – You do need to make an impact as “the teacher” fairly early on – Saying something profound, uncovering the cause of some strange behaviour within the group, or introducing a life changing model, shortcut or a new way of tackling an old problem.

            Model – Framing your main input within a robust structure that the delegates can relate to, understand and remember.

            Feedback – This is a confident move. After about an hour of class, ask the group, “What should I change? Do you want me to start something, stop something or do more of something?” Best to find out if you are missing the mark as a facilitator with plenty of day left.

When you do this and get some stinking feedback – not to worry. In the worst case, say thank you and take a 10-minute time out to restructure your approach and get back on side with the group before they mutiny.

Best case – they appreciate the chance to give input on their needs and will rate you more highly as a confident and flexible trainer.

            Practical – Activity is the key for all types to connect the theory with their particular situation. I do favour gaining real company cases to work on here, wherever possible. Made up cases never ring totally true and will not gain 100% engagement from your cohort.

            Investigation – Handing over control to the group is an important stage in any training. Letting them explore, self organise, access materials in the own way and even storm a little will make them feel they have had a deeper and more significant experience.

            Reflection – The oldest teaching trick in the book is to ask (just after a break or lunch), “So, what have you learnt in the last session that you will apply in your day jobs?”

            Application – An entertaining training day with no impact on work will be remembered as just being a shallow jolly and may prove harmful to your professional reputation. Transfer from the classroom to the shop floor is what is required. Flipping the classroom and asking the participants to come up with great behaviours that everybody agrees to and wishes to encourage and reinforce and a list of undesirable and destructive behaviours that are to be extinguished from the company’s workplace can be profound.

            Summary – Telling them what you are going to tell them, telling them it and then telling them what you have just told them is sound advice (from the Army.)

And

            Follow up – I like to get a conference call going to debrief the participants a couple of days or weeks after we training day. I ask 3 simple but important questions, “What do you remember?” “What did you learn, try out, and, it’s working?” And, “What did you learn, try out, and, it is NOT working?”

So, what have we talked about today?

To summarise, you will inherit a state when you walk in to the training room and it is your job to decide what to do to build their energy level and engagement dynamic to get the job of teaching done.

People have individual preference for experiencing activities, taking in knowledge and applying themselves to tasks. You will also find a predominant style in one department that will colour your choice of task and exercise selection.

Finally, Structure – these are the elements that must be included in your training day, if you wish to get good feedback, achieve a learning outcome and transfer the key behavioural change elements to the delegate’s workplace.

Good luck with your next training day.

Matthew Hill has 10,000 hours of training, coaching and speaking experience and has worked in 30 countries with some of the best corporations in the world. He has had the pleasure of working with more than 80 nationalities and for 3 Governments.

Film Clips – From International Intercultural Students

Tales from A Multicultural Classroom project – Films 

JAMK University of Applied Sciences, Finland

Our Tales from A Multicultural Classroom project (Tales) has it’s own channel on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6p0Wps-7OxNGSCmTTZrdVw
 
Our intercultural communication course for 1st year international business degree students and exchange students introduces a parallel workshop comprising simple video production techniques, including character development, script writing, story-boarding, shooting and editing. The results belong to the students, and they upload the videos to the channel voluntarily. We have had only one instance in which a video was not uploaded due to a student’s objection. Some of their work is shared here.
Here are a few favourites selected by Course Leader, Steve Crawford:
 
Stereofives
 
Five students from different nations try to solve the global financial crisis but run into stereotypical challenges:
 
 
Intercultural Plagiarism
 
Based on action research we conducted at our school, we discovered a phenomena we call “cheating without intent,” where students do not set out to cheat but find themselves in difficult circumstances that compel them to make bad decisions:
 
 
Dmitri’s Drama
 
A Russian student finds a difficult path to acculturation, and reaches a crisis point:
 
 
Lisa’s Acceptance
 
Newly off the press… A young girl discovers something new about herself in Finland:
 
 
A Cultural Deal
 
A Finnish girl finds herself in Italy to close a deal, and returns home empty-handed. (this video is often used with our critical incident analysis tool)
 

12 Training Film Clips – Culture, Leadership and Teams – Resources For Your Classroom

Training Resource Films – Intercultural Exchange, Diversity in Work, Leadership and Coaching, Conflict and Debate & the Power of the Individual in Business.

12 Films to use in your classroom

12 Films to use in your classroom

1, Wild Tales (2014) 6 Tales of Revenge. Directors – Pedro Almadova & Damian Szifran

Training Themes; Revenge, risk taking, morality in business and relationships

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNURIZWLm1M&list=PLhbb3wdghNhRk69plSRI2BMy5aXING4G-&index=1

2, The BP Coffee Spill – Humourous Metaphor – UCB Comedy Channel Team

Training Theme – Introducing a difficult topic into the training room.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AAa0gd7ClM

3, Morning Glory (2010) – First Meeting Scene – Rachel McAdams, Diane Keaton. Directed by Roger Michell

Training Themes; Multi – Focus orientation, assumptions about youth, change, active listening, testing authority & managing in chaos.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWrw5ogawS8

4, Recursos Humanos (2013) Rosio Manzano, Xavier Pamies, Director Juan Alvarez Llados

Training Themes, Sexual harassment, trading favours, wielding power and gender assumptions, bias and prejudice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rS7PM9AUFjQ

5, Deloitte Diversity & Inclusion in Business (2015) Deloitte University Press

Training Theme – Diversity, inclusion, values in business

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7G0OUHnCudw

6, House of Cards (2014) Frank Underwood Ruthlessness Kevin Spacey, Netflix

Training Theme – Power, corruption, manipulation & ethics

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5Ha3IWeXOo

7, Suits – A Different Kind of Power – Donna Poulson – Sarah Rafferty, Netflix

Training Theme – Alternative sources of power, female roles – defined, prescribed and actual in business.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfX_lXvi008

8, The Intern (2015) – Robert De Niro, Anne Hathaway

Training Theme – Age discrimination & diversity.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6p2exVZttE

9, Erin Brokovich (2000) – Julia Roberts, Veanne Cox. Directory Steven Soderburgh – “F*cking Ugly Shoes”

Training Theme – Social status, educational prejudice and the consequences of assumptions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZMg4vFcRQs

10, Andrew Stanton (Writer of Toy Story) – The Clues in the Story TED (2014)

McGregor the…

Training Theme – Reputation, story telling & humour.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxDwieKpawg

11, Finding Forrester (2000) Murray F. Abrahams, Rob Brown, Sean Connery. Director – Gus Van Sant

Training Themes; Assumptions about scholarship students and social status,

white privilege, institutional compliance, rules, power & race.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSnraJOeOyM

12, Any Given Sunday (1999) – Motivation Speech – Al Pacino. Director – Oliver Stone

Training Themes – Responsibility, consequences, reputation, coaching, leadership, accountability, sacrifice, personal choice, motivation, power & salvation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_iKg7nutNY

Please share and let us spread the word.

A Big thanks to all those that contributed to this list and those that took the time to prepare the work for YouTube.

What can YOU do at the SIETAR Congress to change your life?

A Guide to the European Intercultural Event of the Year by Matthew Hill     1, Meeting people With up to 360 people attending the SIETAR Congress in Dublin later in May, There is no better opportunity this year to … Continue reading

Trainer Resource Films – Marshmallow, Appreciative Inquiry and Norwegian Culture

  1. The Marshmallow Challenge Exercise and Debrief – A Ted Talk with Tom Wujec from design software company Autodesk              .team work at conference workshop

This film shows you the equipment list for the game and what the concept is. There is a wonderful and shocking debrief of who does well, who does not do well and the phases and needs that come out of the task.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0_yKBitO8M

Thanks to Tom Wujec and Ted Talks for publishing this.

  1. Appreciative Inquiry

Overview of the Appreciative Inquiry methodology and an example about a hotel with Jackie Kelm. The film expands on the positive core, the 5 principles, the 4D’s and more…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwGNZ63hj5k

Thanks Jackie for making the film and publishing it on YouTube

  1. Norwegian Culture – Stereotypes and Beyond

Nice light TedX with Italian Pellegrino Riccardi about Norwegian culture that can provoke discussion and exchange in your training group. Wonderful example of the particularist perspective to parking from a Police Woman!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMyofREc5Jk

Thanks Pellegrino and TED for publishing this on YouTube.