As a trainer or facilitator when was the last time someone, whose opinion you valued, observed you deliver a session and then gave you feedback on either the content, your language, energy, environment or body language?
This week gone one of my trusted colleagues came and observed me facilitate for half a day. I was clear on the three areas I wanted feedback – my questions, my body language and language patterns. I was delivering a session I knew well and have delivered at least 100 times before – it’s a sales course if you were wondering!
Anyway I think I am good at what I do. I know the content, create impact in the room and have good rapport with the group. The feedback confirmed this and then a little more…………..
Apparently I hold my hands upturned looking like dead spiders, halfway between a plead and an open palm. Either way it doesn’t look great and adds nothing to the messages I am delivering. If you are familiar with Virginia Satir gestures I rock a good thinker/computer though the placater and pointer could be weaved into my body language a little more.
I use open questions like they are going out of fashion, they are so much more impactful than a closed one. I invite you to test this for yourself. Ask your group a closed question like ‘do you think that is a good idea?’ and whilst most groups will ultimately give you a thought, notice the pause before the reply, the tumble weed moment that can occur, the hesitation that can trigger the inner voice of doubt in your head.
Whilst I was using open questions they were often to the total group. I rarely placed a name on the question. Placing a name on the front of the question is a great way of bringing people into the conversation, encouraging them to share their thoughts and sometimes useful to jolt someone from their daydreams.
The final revelation of the day was that whilst I clearly labelled the learning point at the end of the session my set up was weak. It wasn’t always clear what we were about to do, why or how. A strong clear set up of the day, the morning, a learning set is vital for learners. Without it some learners can be left feeling or thinking that something is missing, they may ask questions for clarification or sit there disconnected with what’s to come.
My top tips then are:
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