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ASK, NOT TELL

....and many other thoughts about facilitation, coaching ( teams & individuals) and learning

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  • David

A Big Lesson

Updated: Mar 20



I just conducted a Leadership program in Indonesia. It is a hard but valuable experience for me. In a sense, I am glad that I experienced this. I am sure that I need this in order to become better…..


In short, the L1 feedback score is low. It is probably the lowest I have ever received. As I review with my co-facilitators, there are a number of reasons why this would be the case. There are some which I cannot control e.g. learners’ mix, learners away from family for remote course location. Instead of elaborating this, let me put some thought on what I can do differently:


- Room – The room is all covered by hard surface and this generates strong echo in the room. It is difficult to listen to what the others said. We lost learners’ attention in the beginning. I should check the sound effect in the room on Day 0. I should then change the room setting on Day 0 instead of waiting for Day 1;


- Adjustment – We knew that some of the learners were not happy with the class during the review discussion in the middle of the class. I should run a mid-course written feedback so that I can have specific feedback on what to adjust. For this class, this means gathering more cases which the learners want. I have done some and should do more so that cases are available around all contents. In addition, doing so will by itself demonstrate that you treat their view seriously


- Burning Platform – I should be more cautious in trying out the new opener. In fact, I should avoid using a new (and thus uncertain one) if I have read the situation better i.e. knowing that I am in natural disadvantage with the un-controllable factors. And given these factors, I should run an opener to ‘install’ a strong burning platform linking to course content. In particular for this class, the learners have expressed that they do not like too much mindsets and theories. In the future, I should design an opener highlighting how important the course content is to them. First impression is the key.


The last point, interestingly, echoes very much my previous 2 posts on ‘What makes one learn better than others” (Post 1 and Post 2) If the learners do not have desire for what the facilitator is going to offer, no facilitator can make them learn. And even worse, they can become unhappy with the whole experience.

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