A change is as good as a rest – Winston Churchill.
There are numerous materials and methods available to train participants with. With so many choices out there, it can be daunting to the trainer at times to choose the appropriate training method. We have all at some point grappled with this dimension of decision making.
What many of our trainers have found useful is incorporating a variety of training methods in the workshop to keep it both engaging and effective. However, before deciding on using a melting pot of methods, the trainer needs to gather some important information. The choice of training methods has to be based on a clear understanding of several factors, some of which are:
- The nature of training participants
- The primary objective behind the training
- The key learning’s that need to be driven in each session
- How much time is available at your disposal
- What training resources are available to you
What this means in a real training scenario is that while there are numerous times when we as trainers are tempted to use glamorous training techniques like fire walking and rock climbing, it is not always prudent to do so. There are several practical factors that get in the way. The clients most often are not willing to pay the additional cost associated with newer and more expensive methods like simulations, adventure learning, rock climbing and fire walking. Also, these methods have to be implemented carefully, keeping in mind important parameters like the age group of the participants, physical endurance of the training group, time on hand and training area in question. This is often the biggest stumbling block for implementation of these new age methods of training. No matter how apropos and exciting rock climbing could be, it is not the best idea for a group of participants in their early 50’s. The other stumbling block while choosing such methods is the choice of facilitators. These activities require a trainer or facilitator with specific exposure in that particular training area.
Training methods also need to be chosen intelligently based on the area of training. What this means is that a video is ideal for a session on active listening, but not necessarily for improving written communication. Another important factor that influences choice of training method is the amount of time available to conduct the training or complete a particular activity. What this means is that if there are 45 minutes allocated for a particular session, a role play is a far better choice than an extended game. This is of course subject to the fact that the exercise chosen drives home the key learning’s.
While all of the above factors hugely influence the choice of training method, there is no debate that successful trainings invariably have a mixture of training methodologies. All trainers will be testimony to the fact that it is this variety that keeps participants engaged and caters to difference in learning needs.
This week we would like to focus on the value of variety in training? How do you ensure that a variety of training methods are being used in a workshop? What factors do you believe are most critical in making this decision?