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I wish… Take time for Wishes and Reflections

When we launched our first “Show & Share,” our work version of show-and-tell, I was the first to admit that it covered the bases but wasn’t the home run I’d planned. We met our goal of creating a meaningful demo of our new Who’s First Buzzer. but came away with a long list of things to “do differently next time.” Some of you might be wonderfully experienced at Zoom facilitation and training. Others might be new at it. While I’m not a novice and prepared carefully–considering room lighting, silencing phones, etc.–my “I wish” list was substantial.  You may have heard the quote, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Perhaps. You might also consider that wishes help us identify goals and make plans. My wishes and reflections included:

  • I wish I’d spent more time upfront, welcoming participants and asking them about their prior experiences with the product
  • I wish I’d asked participants to introduce themselves–or asked if they would welcome the opportunity to connect with one another.
  • I wish I’d shared comments from those who couldn’t join the call
  • I wish I’d lingered longer at the end, just chatting with people… not necessarily about the product
  • I wish I’d debriefed with the folks on the phone, and asked how we could improve the format

I know how to do these things, but I didn’t. Why not?

Trying something new

As trainers, when we present a new topic for the first time, we always have some nerves to manage because, well, we’ve never done it before. We’re embarking on a new experience, just as our learners do when we train them in a new skill or approach. Giving advice to myself, I’d say:

  1. Be transparent. Let the group know it’s your first time and you’re trying something new. This feels more difficult when you feel more tentative. Projecting the confidence of a seasoned expert seems at odds with admitting inexperience. Yet, an expert would do just that. Showing vulnerability is often key to building honest connections and relationships.
  2. Be flexible. Facilitation looks different if there are 5 participants, vs.15, 30, or 100. The exchange and dialogue are different. Be ready to shift gears, depending on the number of participants in the group. In my first run of Show & Share, we had just a handful of participants, including some of my Trainers Warehouse staff. As we fluctuate between live and online experiences, and between webinars and conference calls, flexibility is key.
  3. Ask for feedback. As many trainers know, you’re most likely to get feedback, the sooner you ask for it. After folks have left an event, memories fade and they’ve likely moved on to their next task. If I’d checked in with the group in real-time, I might have been able to change course then and there.

I wish… reflections and debriefs

Trainers Warehouse has accumulated many tools for debriefs, including What? So What? Now What? and Start-Stop-Continue-Change. I’d like to add to the list, an “I wish” activity. Asking participants about wishes and reflections requires them to think about what they’d like to change in the future. Wishes help us consider our dreams, goals, the challenges we’ll have to contend with, and the support we might need to bring those wishes to fruition.

Read More on Wishes and Reflections and Debriefs

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