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ASK, NOT TELL

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

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  • David

Seoul – Willingness to Learn

Updated: Mar 22


I have had a great experience in Seoul last week. My learners in this leadership development class were awesome.


I was quite worried before the program. The Korean learners I experienced before were in general quiet in workshops. It was difficult to get them involved. On the other hand, this was the first time I facilitated this program in Korea. In addition, I am not sure how the learners will be like after a major strike last year in the organisation. I heard that things are turbulent there.


I was wrong. The learners turned out to be reflective, humorous and curious. They took in the content very quickly. They were not hesitated to ask questions even at the expense of having breaks or lunch late. They used the language from Day 2 onward. They came to me over drinks how they like the program and their plan to use it at work. I know that one has even already applied some of the concepts on an evening conference call after class. They are the best group I have experienced so far for this program.


I wonder whether the Korean learners in previous classes were like this. My partner who is a local Korean said this class is different. I believe that my partners and I have probably done a good job. We used a lot of personal examples. We adjusted the process for the situations, etc. But I do not think our facilitation is the only reason. We think a major reason is how the learners are selected. Quite a number of them have been recently promoted.


I learn a big lesson here. A workshop can be so much more effective if the learners are keen to learn. On the contrary, I believe no matter how good the design or facilitators are, a workshop will not work if we have the ‘wrong’ learners. I have experienced once in another country where the learners were very resistant to the training venue in the first place. I think we do not need the whole class full of grade A learners. But we do need a few to trigger the atmosphere.


It goes back to the topic of willingness to learn – the learner selection, the building of burning platform, the WIIFM….


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