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


  • David

Half empty or Half Full?

Updated: Mar 18, 2022

What would be your reaction as a trainer if less than half of your class shows up?

I think I would be rather upset. But I learnt from our Master Facilitator that things can be different. She helped us facilitate a small 1-day class in Shanghai. Only 6 of 11 showed up, and 2 asked to leave earlier!! She did not appear annoyed at all, and she conducted the class professionally throughout the day

I asked her subsequently whether she was upset with the poor attendance, or even considered to cut short the class. She said, ‘Not at all. In fact, it was a great opportunity to really interact with the learners when we had just 4 of them.’ She added, ‘I guess it is the “half empty or half full” mentality.’ Her reaction really made me think. I think she is right. There is no point to be upset and instead a trainer should focus on those who show up.

Coincidentally, I came across similar situation last week. I ran a class with our local regulators. Only 4 out of 9 showed up. Even worse, those who showed up got in and out of the class from time to time. In fact, only 1 stayed throughout the whole 2 days. Adopting the new mentality, the incident was not so disappointing to me. And I managed to enjoy the class better.

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