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ASK, NOT TELL

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

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  • David

More about Facilitation vs Training

Updated: Mar 20



An additional thought on this ‘facilitation vs training’ topic came to my mind the other day.  We usually call the person who stands in the front of a corporate training room a trainer. 


However, if we think of him / her as the one making learning happened for the learners, he / she should be more appropriately called a facilitator.  Of course, it depends on how we define learning.  Let’s say a high level definition (Kirkpatrick L4) – learning happens when the learners adopt the desired new behavior which yields better pre-defined business result.  In this case, learning cannot be forced.  A traditional telling-type trainer is not enough to make learning happened.  In fact, in this case, learning can only driven by the learners themselves. At most the person who stands in front of the room is to facilitate the learning process.  This could include:

  1. making them aware of the burning platform for change

  2. letting them go through process where they can learn from each other

  3. putting  them through stretched assignment so that they can realise their potential and learn from reflection

This is especially true when we think of the 70-20-10 principle.  A learning professional is not only a trainer (traditionally-defined), he / she needs to be event and process facilitator.  Or I should say trainer should now mean more than giving lecture.


There is a saying – You can bring a cow to the pond, but you cannot make it drink.

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