Thursday, November 3, 2011

Trainings I loved

I distinctly remember the first training I loved. Perhaps it was on day 1 or day 4 as a management trainee. It was a full day session and run by this very friendly gentleman. I don’t recall the topics that we discussed that day nor do I recall the whole objective of it, but it did make us all feel very good. The exercises they made us do and the way it was structured all made for some really good “feel good” factor. As management trainee, I really thought, I had arrived – as did the others in our batch. And it was done, unconventionally for us at that time – which has now become the new conventional. We were used to classroom seating – this one had conference room seating. We were used to dull drab presentations, this one blew our minds away. And I remember the facilitator had great personality – he could build rapport in an instant and all of us connected with him. There were group exercises and de-briefs and it was a challenge for all us management trainees to outdo the other. Overall, a great learning experience.

The second training which I loved was the “first time managers” training in a very well known global software services company. It was a “rites of passage” as well – and we will cover that at some point. But they way it was done – as an outbound training is still fresh in my mind. From then on, I have been to many an outbound and offsite training, but even today, I would rate this particular training higher than the rest. So, what made this different and what keeps it so different even today? The first thing was the fact that the duration was about a couple of days. The second was that the training was quite intensive. The third was that it was quite experiential – there were more self learnings than the things that the instructor taught us. We had travelled out as a group and came back as a group. The bonding that the group had was amazing – something I have not come across ever. (This was one aspect that I felt could have been better tapped, but that’s for another day.)

The third training I distinctly remember was this training conducted by an individual (actually there were two like this at separate points in time). This was a fairly technical training and the trainer was professional and extremely knowledgeable and had great facilitation skills. I have not come across this deadly combination ever after. Either people have knowledge but cannot really share or facilitate. There are others who are great communicators but lack in depth or the ability to talk to the trainees “in their language”. And there are some who are just professionals who know a narrow interpretation of their worlds and are unwilling to look beyond it.

So, the first two trainings were different for me at that time, but the third example of normal classroom trainings completed the circle of what memorable trainings are all about.

Great facilitation, time commitment, group bonding, challenges and self learning - have I missed something?

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