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ASK, NOT TELL

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

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  • David

Do things right the 2nd time

Updated: Mar 19


This post is the last of the ‘Continuous Improvement’.   The 1st one is ‘Continuous Improvement‘, and the second one is ‘Continuous Improvement (Cont’d)’.  In these 2 posts, I have talked about 6 pieces of thoughts for continuous improving my own training skills.  And here is the 7th – Do things right the 2nd time. I like this topic:


When I entered the banking industry as a graduate trainee, I joined a campaign to promote the ‘quality management’ concept. Together with my fellow trainees, we sang a song with lyrics saying ‘Doing things right the 1st time’.


For me, ‘doing things right the 2nd time’ is more appropriate for trainers. In short, this means that we should always try out as soon as possible new techniques we learn. We should be brave about this. Of course we have to prepare well before trying this. But don’t wait too long till we are totally ‘comfortable’.


Why? It is only after we try a training technique, we will comprehend it. More importantly, it is only after we try it, we will readily register the technique into our mind.


Being a trainer is a “here and now” business. We give instructions, observe and react. We facilitate learning. It is like guiding how the water flows. We should not (and cannot) control totally, but we facilitate. After all, it is the learners who learn, but not the trainer. With this mindset, we need to have techniques right at our finger tips. We thus have to register them well in our mind.


So, we should try things out. Occasionally, we made some mistakes when we try the first time. But we had to make sure we commit no mistake the 2nd time.


Why Continuous Improvement?


One may ask - why is it so important to improve. In some sense, being a trainer can be a self-destructing career. When the class starts, you close the door. There are only you and your learners. You tell a few good jokes which are often enough to get you a good L1. And because it works, you conduct the classes the same way as you do in the years to come. After a few years, probably when you interact with other trainers, you suddenly realise that you have not learnt much.


It is just like the analogy of 'boiling frog' - we can get comfortable.... in dying!

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