Questions are the lasers of illumination

Question markRecently I attended a luncheon at the annual CSTD (Canadian Society for Trainingand Development) / IFTDO  (International Federation of Training and Development Organizations) international conference.  Around me were professional trainers of all sorts.

Being a born and bred trainer my antennae was up and my ears tuned.  I’d listened to Peter Senge and Romeo Dallaire and been inspired.

This day the conversation around the lunch table was led by a conference delegate who was excited about having just learned a technique to get seats in bums after a break (e.g. how to ensure people return to your training on time following a break).

The technique involved shutting the door precisely when break was over.  Starting on time no matter what.

It was heavy handed.

I tried to steer the conversation towards another focus.  Perhaps we were asking the wrong question, not:

–    How do we get participants back in their seats on time after a break?

But rather:

–    How do we get participants to be motivated and engaged, with training content that is relevant and interesting, so they return ‘on time’ (a concept that has big cultural overtones) on their own accord?

The questions we ask are pointers.  They illuminate some things and leave others in the dark.

I’m not interested in being a taskmaster as a trainer.  Too much work.

Most of all it doesn’t result in good learning because our brains aren’t designed to learn if we’re not motivated.

I am interested in motivating participants so they choose to learn.  And so that they come back from a break looking forward to more.

What’s your motivation to learn?


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3 Responses to “Questions are the lasers of illumination”

  1. cstd Says:
    March 30th, 2010 at 4:00 am

    […] Mail (will not be published) (required) Website. Notify me of follow-up comments via e-mail …Rock.Paper.Scissors.Blog Blog Archive Questions are the …… a luncheon at the annual CSTD (Canadian Society for Trainingand Development) / IFTDO … Tags: […]

  2. Team Building Says:
    April 1st, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    It sounds like you’re creating problems yourself by trying to solve this issue instead of looking at why their is a problem in the first place

  3. Lee-Anne Ragan Says:
    April 2nd, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    Tell me more. I’m not sure I understand your point but I’m interested….

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