Training Tips and Tidbits Page - A compendium


I have a technique that helps defuse hostility in mandatory training sessions, although it might be hard to pull off in your limited time frame. (You said that your sessions last less than one hour.) First, acknowledge that the training is mandatory and that some people might not want to be there. Then, ask participants to write 20 reasons why they would rather not be in the session and ask them to share their reasons with one another. Most people really only have one or two reasons why they don't want to be there. Inevitably, by the time they get to writing reason number 10, they get quite silly and start laughing.

The purposes of this exercise are:

* Acknowledge that some people don't want to be there (This increases your credibility);

* Let people vent and express their irritation harmlessly;

* Get people relaxed and laughing so that they get over their irritation.


Have them start off on the right foot by agreeing with you and the others about the issues and the opportunities.

I hope this idea is helpful. I think it would take at least 10 minutes to pull it off, though, which may be more time than you can afford in a one hour session. Good luck.

Contributed by William A. Weech, Leadership and Management Development.
Foreign Service Institute (703) 302-7198


On consensus and facilitation - a story:

Doyle and Strauss tell a story about a town that had $10 million to spend.

One group had an interest in refurbishing the towns 5 fire stations at $2 million each. The other group had an interest in building day care centers. The city could have spent half the money on each project, but that would not have satisfied either position.

Someone had the idea of doing a demographic study: maybe the town's population had shifted. Results showed that the population and business centers had shifted enough that 3 new stations would serve the town better than the five old locations, building each for the same $2 million as refurbishing and reequipping an old ones.

This left them with $4 million to convert the old fire stations into day care centers.

All the interests were satisfied.

Sometimes stepping back from the wagon is very useful!


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