I conducted an one-day influencing skills course last week. The course is new to me and it contains a kind of communication model which is new to me as well. Before (and even during!!) the course, I have been thinking hard the best way for the participants to ‘absorb’ the model. I hate those training, or presentation, which you will forget 100% shortly after you attend it. It is a waste of time to the facilitator, participants and the company.
Well, the model is not complicated (the people-type kind of model). It will take less than 30 mins if you choose just to tell. In the end, what I did include:
– Showing Visual – PPT;
– Developing together – using a white board to develop the model with them line by line, word by word. And keeping the white board as anchor for following discussion;
– Examples – especially on people around the participants. What can be more interesting to find out how to influence your boss better!! (well… in fact.. the answer should be their spouses!!… but these are not common figure);
– Personal stories – people just like to hear stories, especially the real one. It also got me closer to them as well;
– Asking questions – instead of telling them the different perspectives of the model e.g. how each style makes decision, I asked them to guess and tell the big group.
What was the most interesting is however an activity which I came up with on that day (I got to adopt something other than the original design to that particular group of participants). Well, it is not something new – in fact, I have done similar activity in another course. The important point is that this one day experience in struggling for the best delivery method helped realise the power of DOING.
Here is what I asked them to do – assign them into their own styles, assign a task, sell things to another style group, and rate the performance for each other at the end. In short, I learn the followings via facilitating this activity about the power of DOING:
– Compel to think and review the learning – No one escapes. In fact, they will not choose to escape, assuming that you make it fun for them to DO the underlying task;
– Contrast for them to observe – Whilst one group was selling, the others benefited from it as watching the role play. Of course, the facilitator got to ask the right questions (yes, not telling) to extract the learning points for them;
– Fun – I always believe that fun is the integral part of learning. Not only for child, but also for adult.. in fact, I wonder fun is even more important for adult to learn;
So….. “What I hear, I forget. What I see, I remember. What I do, I understand”