Tip #582: The Power of Multiples of Five in Training

“A rule to live by: I won’t use anything I can’t explain in five minutes.” Philip Crosby

The number five, or multiples of five, occurs frequently in training. It applies to curriculum design, room set up, training delivery and group facilitation.

  1. Accelerated learning promotes participant-centered “whole body learning” by engaging as many of the 5 traditionally recognized senses as possible. Audiovisuals and peripherals on the walls will engage the sense of sight. Experiential learning activities will engage the senses of hearing and touch. Bowls of candy on the training tables will engage the sense of taste. Fragrant magic markers will engage the sense of smell.
  1. Five is the ideal number of participants to be seated at a training table.
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Tip #572:  Recognizing When to Let a Good Idea Go

On June 8, 2015, Posted by , In learning, By ,,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #572:  Recognizing When to Let a Good Idea Go

“The first rule of holes: when you’re in one, stop digging.” Molly Ivins

A few years ago, I worked with subject matter experts in a state transportation agency to redesign their new employee orientation program. The Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) had three different bureaus, and new hires for all of the bureaus attended the same program.

The program was two days. We wanted to reinforce the idea that the three bureaus were all part of the same team, Team DMV, so we thought of ways to motivate the attendees to get to know employees in other bureaus.

We decided to assign seating so that the new hires got to sit and work with employees from different bureaus.

I created … Read the rest

Tip #569: Participatory Training in Inhospitable Locations

On May 18, 2015, Posted by , In learning activities, By ,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #569: Participatory Training in Inhospitable Locations

“It is time for us all to stand and cheer for the doer, the achiever — the one who recognizes the challenge and does something about it.”  Vince Lombardi

Last week, I conducted a train the trainer program in a very large training room with two screens in front of floor to ceiling windows that overlooked a stadium with continually running electronic signs. The lights over the screens were inoperative.

The large windows, even with mesh blinds, let in a lot of light. Without overhead lights near the screens, I became a silhouette standing in shadow. The constantly running signs created a ubiquitous visual distraction for every participant.

I had to stand between the two screens, which projected the same … Read the rest

Tip #495: Aspects of Training and Consulting That I Don’t Like

On December 9, 2013, Posted by , In learning, By ,, , With Comments Off on Tip #495: Aspects of Training and Consulting That I Don’t Like

“Forget about likes and dislikes. They are of no consequence. Just do what must be done. This may not be happiness, but it is greatness.”  George Bernard Shaw

What I don’t like:

  • Small fonts in corporate templates
  • Grey letters on a black background
  • Forms sent through the mail that have to be written rather than typed
  • Proposals that receive no response
  • Corporate clients who pay 45-60 days after invoicing
  • The requirement to take credit cards in order to be able to have work with federal government agencies
  • PowerPoint slide printouts as participant handouts
  • PowerPoint slides filled with tiny print
  • Banks and credit unions that charge service fees on business accounts
  • Conferences that provide no speaker room for materials and equipment
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Tip #425: Logistics and Miscellaneous Information in Amman

On July 9, 2012, Posted by , In travel, By ,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #425: Logistics and Miscellaneous Information in Amman

“Plans are nothing; planning is everything.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

After discussing the ideal class size with the Mahas D and K- and after all of the correspondence telling me that there would be 25 people in each of the train the trainer classes, Maha D proudly told me that there were now 30 people in next week’s class and the following class currently had 26 and counting…. Good grief!

We had spent some length of time the day before figuring out how many pages of the training materials were needed for 50 people. I had packed materials (Koosh, prizes, etc.) for 55 people. Sigh.

I’m going to talk with her today, because there is absolutely no way that we can … Read the rest

Tip #341: Five Facilitation Mistakes that Trainers Make- And How to Avoid Them

On September 20, 2010, Posted by , In presentation, By ,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #341: Five Facilitation Mistakes that Trainers Make- And How to Avoid Them

“Strong people make as many and as ghastly mistakes as weak people. The difference is that strong people admit them, laugh at them, and learn from them. That is how they become strong.” Richard J. Needham

A good training plan, good content and good learning activities do not automatically ensure a good training experience. The trainer is ultimately responsible for establishing and maintaining an effective learning environment. This begins with training room and training process logistics.

Mistake #1. Not preparing the room. Check all audiovisual equipment and hook ups before the session, to make sure everything is in operating order. Cover or tape down extension cords so that no one trips over them. Have a backup plan in case there … Read the rest