Laughable lines from learners in training sessions!

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I’ve been a trainer for the best part of 25 years. I’m STILL amazed by the lines some learners come out with in the training room, thinking me and my colleagues haven’t heard them before. Can you relate to any of these humdingers?!

A delegate barges into the training room for the first time, no introduction, the session hasn’t even started yet and asks: “What time do we finish?”

A small clique of learners sat disgruntled since 9am. YOU know you’re starting at 9:30am. Their MANAGER knows the session starts at 9:30am (he/she had an email confirming “kick off ” weeks ago). You announce: “We’ll get underway at 9:30am folks.” Only to hear: “Well, WE were told it started at 9 o’clock!”

Following Workshop 1, you set the group a task to submit and complete before the second session. It’s now Day 2 and one of the learners approaches you prior to starting and says: “Did you manage to take a look at my work that I emailed at 11.59pm last night?”

“Morning everyone! Before we start, can I just check that you’ve all printed off the workbook I sent you ten days ago via email?” Reply from at least four people: “I didn’t get your email!”

“Hi, hello! It’s Adrian is it? You’re the trainer? Yes? OK! Hmmm…would you mind if I kept my mobile phone on because, I’m SO full of my own self-importance, I’m waiting for a VERY important call and, if I don’t answer it, planet Earth will implode…?”

Slightly embarrassed, half-in-half-out-of-the-doorway: “Excuse me? Is this the session on Sexually Transmitted Infections?!”

“My Manager sent me.”

“Can I have the window open* closed* air conditioning on* air conditioning off* radiator on* radiator off* blinds up* blinds down*?” <delete as applicable!!>

Thanks for completing this evaluation form. What’s the biggest learning point you’ll take away from this training session today? “The sandwiches were rank!”

Ade.

Click here for our website!

Stop messing with your mobile!

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I had a Manager who believed that delegates should leave their phones/email alone when they were on training. This was THEIR protected time for their development, without distractions. This must have sunk in with ‘yours truly’ as my phone is off and I don’t look at it during breaks whenever I attend a course. I make staff and clients aware that I’m away, what I’m doing, “out of office” etc.

A colleague and I delivered a session this week. During a break, a delegate got her laptop out, tuned into our Wi-Fi and started working, answering emails etc. When break was over and the next activity started, she was STILL on her machine in the background! Downright rude! It called for one of us to be assertive and ask her to re-join the group.

Are mobiles a menace?!

Ade.

www.develop-meant.com

 

Oh no! I hate role play!

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Every now and again, we include role play in some of our training sessions. More often than not, one or two learners will sigh and make it quite clear that they HATE HATE HATE role play!

One of my colleagues calls it “skills practice”. Nevertheless, however hard we try to “wrap it up” as something woolly and fluffy, for some folk, it’s like we’re asking them to walk across barbed wire!

Why do you think this is? Do you have any top tips to convince the cringers in the audience to go with it?

Ade.

http://www.develop-meant.com

The Smiling Assassin!

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You’ve had an amazing day’s training. All your fears, doubts and apprehension around whether the session would go well are unfounded. Fifteen happy learners, fully engaged. They’ve loved the content, enjoyed the activities and even laughed at your jokes!

Fifteen happy learners filling out evaluation forms – or so you thought!

<Cue scary laughter>

You review the feedback. Gasp! Fourteen happy learners and then someone I call “The Smiling Assassin”. Fourteen learners thought you were the “Torville and Dean” of trainers. HE thought you were “Eddie The Eagle Edwards”. Fourteen learners would shout from the rooftops that you’re the reincarnation of Albert Einstein. HE thought you were an extra from “The Only Way Is Essex”. Fourteen learners hung on your every word the whole day long. HE hung on for dear life!

Have you ever been faced with this situation? How did you deal with it? Did you brush the comments off? Did you approach the disgruntled delegate? How can us trainers deal with “smiling assassins”?!

Ade.

Level 3 Education and Training course goes down a storm!

PTLLS Shropshire

Our recent Level 3 Award in Education and Training course in Shropshire went down a storm with delegates. A thoroughly enjoyable and interactive workshop, covering legislation, roles and responsibilities, learning styles, facilitating group work and effective use of resources.

The next course on the timetable is the Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training with induction and introductions taking place at 1:30pm on 14th July at Always Consult’s Upton Magna (Shrewsbury, West Midlands) training centre. Please note that you may know this course by its old name, DTLLS (Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector).

Please call 07979 525 708 or email adrian@develop-meant.com as soon as possible if you are interested in booking a place on the Level 5 Diploma as the start date grows nearer.

Here is some of the feedback received from delegates on the Level 3 day:

Excellent resources. Good balance of taught and practical activities throughout the day invaluable and practical knowledge gained.

I think both trainers were open, honest and approachable this makes the day easier and less confusing as I feel comfortable in the fact that if I am stuck help is available.

Excellent delivery which kept me engaged and interested throughout. Looking forward to the next instalment! After 3 failed attempts to start this qualification with other providers, I am already further ahead than I previously was!

I have been given a lot to reflect on and will incorporate this into my daily activities.

Does “email etiquette” exist?

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Hi all,

As someone who runs his own business, I pride myself on my levels of efficiency and customer service. That’s why I’m often blown backwards by the way some folk handle themselves over email.

If a prospective client makes (what I believe to be) a genuine email enquiry about one of my company’s qualification programmes, I go out of my way to send them the details – way within 24 hours – putting myself in their shoes by answering the questions I think they may have.

So then, NOT to get a response, not even the slightest acknowledgement like: “Thanks Ade”, has a tendency to wind me up ever so slightly!

I’m sorry – no one is TOO busy or TOO important to spend a few seconds being courteous.

Does this get up anyone else’s nose? Are my expectations too high? Am I imposing my own values and beliefs? Is there such a thing as “email etiquette”?!

Ade.

http://www.develop-meant.com

Stranger than strange contacts!

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On Social Media, do you ever find a new Follower, or clock a new Contact and think: “Why on Earth have they chosen to link up with me?!”

Whether it’s a balloon-bender from Bolton, or a butler-in-the-buff from Brighton, there are times when the folk who want to be “part of my gang” make no sense whatsoever! To be fair, when I started out on Social Media, I probably did the same. I hadn’t a clue what I was doing and assumed that the more “Likes” or “Friends” I had, the more popular I’d appear and the more the phone would ring, or my email would ping with offers of work. Wrong!

Over the last couple of days, I’ve reflected on how I use Social Media and who I’d like to be in my troop. For a training and consultancy service such as mine, Linkedin has reaped rewards in terms of hooking-up with long-lost colleagues, showcasing what I do and bringing in business. I’ve happily sought out other professionals with a vested interest in careers guidance and working with children, young people and adults in the hope they’ll be just a wee bit interested in what I post.

My question is – what do you “do” with your list of contacts? Do they just sit there looking lovely, or, do you actively engage with them, promote and market what you do? Do they respond to that? I often worry it feels a bit like “cold emailing” and that gets up people’s noses.

I run a Linkedin Group for professionals in the Career Guidance sector. It’s very rare I shout from the rooftops what I do. I’ve seen other forums become choc-a-block full of self-promoting posts and I wouldn’t want that. However, of late, I HAVE promoted an exclusive qualification discount for staff who are members. Even THEN I felt a bit cheeky!

Am I just being overly sensitive? Some online gurus would say: “Well, these people CHOSE to be one of your contacts and it IS “social media”, therefore, they need to be sociable!”

Your thoughts  please?

Ade.

“Thank you for flying Adrian Airlines!”

An ex-colleague of mine used to say that us trainers are a bit like actors. Regardless of how we’re feeling on the day, we stand at the front and perform! I regularly liken myself to an air steward when I’m delivering a training session. For up to seven hours on this long-haul “flight” I ensure I’m:

  • All “eyes and teeth, eyes and teeth”
  • Making my “passengers” aware of health and safety procedures
  • Fulfilling basic human needs
  • Keeping a keen eye on folk who are a little highly strung
  • Asking one or two bods to stop playing with their mobile phones
  • Dealing with people’s “baggage” !!

Can you relate to my analogy? Have you any of your own?

Our careers qualifications are causing a commotion!

Remember the days of NVQs? I can confidently claim that some national standards became SO “watered down” that, for many candidates, undertaking their qualification became nothing more than a box-ticking exercise. They were lucky if they saw their Assessor once a month!

Not the case with the Develop-meant and Always Consult team! We pride ourselves on “the personal touch”. Even though we use modern technology to support our delivery, the staff we train tell us there’s nothing more rewarding than attending our underpinning knowledge workshops and meeting their Assessor on a regular basis.

Take the OCR Level 6 Diploma in Career Guidance and Development, for example. Practitioners need a friendly face to guide them through. The standards require unpicking, there’s research to do and a lot of prep before assignments are written, or Professional Discussions are recorded.

It’s the first time in a while that a qualification in the careers sector has had an impact on practice. Staff claim the Unit on Labour Market Information has really made them consider how much they DON’T know about employment and trends locally, nationally and in Europe. The module on Careers Theory has reinforced that careers guidance isn’t just “a cosy chat” and there is some “science” behind what Advisers deliver. The programme also focuses, among other things, on reflective practice and Continuing Professional Development. Staff have the opportunity to take a step back and consider their role in the careers industry, recognise their skills and strengths and take action on how they can improve their practice.

It’s great to have a choice with the range of qualifications on offer at the moment. If the Level 6 sounds scary, newbie Careers Advisers can undertake the Level 4 Diploma in Career Information and Advice. For staff who don’t work in the careers sector yet still advise clients on a multitude of topics, we deliver the OCR Level 3 Certificate in Advice and Guidance and the Level 4 Diploma for more experienced professionals.

If you’re interested in one of our qualifications, get in touch! Together we’ll determine the programme that’s right for you and bespoke our delivery to meet your learning style. With payment options available if you’re self-funding and a boatload of glowing testimonials to our name, you’ve come to the right place!

Drop us a line at adrian@develop-meant.com

Do employers expect too much of young people?

I’ve worked with young people for the last 20 plus years. When I ask fellow business bods what they want to see from the youngsters they employ, interestingly enough good literacy, numeracy and IT skills rarely crops up! What I AM hearing is: there’s a lack of self-awareness and confidence, poor verbal communication skills, the inability to confess: “I haven’t any more work to do, what would you like me to do next?” or: “I’m stuck, can you help me?”

I’ve burrowed down into these comments over the last few years and this whole discussion can be flipped on its head. More often than not – particularly with some smaller employers (although the big boys don’t get away scot-free!) it’s the lack of induction into company policies, procedures and protocols that have tripped up many young ‘uns.

I spoke to one boss who said: “We had this lad, good kid, bit shy. He was with us for three days, didn’t turn up on Thursday. I had to ring him. Turns out he was sick…” Mr Employer, did you inform him he had to contact you before 9am? The answer was in the negative!

I also found that several Managers weren’t particularly good Mentors – very little time, patience or empathy with their newbie recruits.

I still haven’t sussed out a confident answer to the original question! Do you think employers have this assumption that young people are learning all about themselves, the world and careers at school? I know, to some degree, they are. Some schools better than others. Should employers take more responsibility for making links into education AND mentoring, training and developing the school leavers they employ?