Learning & Performance – moving from fear to confidence

This will be part of a series of articles on Learning & Performance that will give you information on effective training sessions; developing a Learning & Performance plan; conducting a training needs assessment; evaluating training sessions; evaluating large scale professional development rogrammes; developing effective Learning & Performance partnerships; and how technology can help create real time learning environments

In each post I will add examples of reports and papers I have created so you can see practical examples at work.

You can read my experience in Learning & Performance in my Services section

Picture this.

You’re a worker and you’ve decided/been told to go to an Effective Written Communication training session for a day.

You’ve always found writing difficult and you’re afraid that this session will be like torture but worse – there’ll be grammar and you’ll look stupid.

You go to the training venue, walk in and are greeted personally by the smiling trainer.

There’s fruit and chocolates on the table and you can smell the coffee brewing. A few people have arrived before you and they’re chatting happily.

The session starts and instead of doing the dreaded ‘let’s go around the table and introduce ourselves’ the trainer asks people to break into smaller groups to say hi. She then asks people to come back and introduce each other.

It’s so much easier to introduce someone else than talk about yourself.

The trainer then asks

” Who thought today would be about grammar and having to write things that get lots of red marks on them. Who was afraid they’d look stupid and the whole thing would be boring? ”

Everyone raises their arm

She promises them that they will gain very specific skills related to their job and people will leave feeling more confident AND have a fun time as well

The session roles out and you find yourself totally engaged in the activities because every single thing is directly related to your work.

There’s even a letter that the trainer says is real and has everyone gasping at how bad it is.

We work in small teams to identify all the errors and share them back with the whole group. It’s a long list.

The trainer then challenges the teams to rewrite the letter using the checklist she has created.

People are really pleased with their results and the checklist makes the structure and flow of a good letter very clear.

You get to talk in small groups with workers from the sector and together you help each other tackle the challenging activities the trainer presents.

It’s also a great place to network and the trainer even makes the breaks longer than usual because she says that informal learning is just as important as the formal session.

Any group feedback is done really well and the trainer is constantly praising people’s contributions.

You feel more confident about asking questions and you learn a lot by watching how the trainer deals with people’s different and sometimes difficult behaviours.

The trainers presentations are really interesting and at times she has the whole group laughing – something you NEVER expected from a written communication training session.

There’s a lot of information in the session and you start to wonder how you can remember it all when the trainer hands out an amazing information pack that you know you can share back at work.

You can’t believe how fast the day has gone and it’s been really enjoyable. More importantly you feel a lot more confident about the letters you have to write on behalf of clients.

The trainer asks people to complete an evaluation form which is very clear.

As an extra bonus the trainer offers you support over the next month if you have a real work situation where written communication is important.

Within a week you call her about a major funding application you have to write and she comes to your office. Together you restructure the application and at the end of an hour you’re thrilled to see how clear and cogent it all is.

You love how this trainer creates such enjoyable and practical learning experiences and commission her to run a series of in house training sessions for your staff.


Yup – that was me.

The trainer not the learner.

The feedback I receive from the many hundreds of training sessions I have run is always very positive and that doesn’t happen without a very very clear learning and performance framework.

I’ll be writing more about the ways I plan and create training/learning experiences in the next post.

And before I go I want to share with you my core belief regarding the impact of any learning experience on a learner.

Learning experiences should decrease a persons fear and increase their confidence so they can be even better at what they’re trying to achieve

If you’re interested in receiving posts to your inbox then just pop your email in the subscribe box at the end of the site.

If you want to share your thoughts then do leave a comment.

I love a good chat.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s