Monday, March 28, 2011

How to get the Most out of Training Sessions

I have often heard people criticizing training events they have attended, claiming that they didn't get anything useful or of value from it.  Although it may very well be that their particular event was poorly run, it may also be that they did not do what they needed in order to 'get' something from it.  I truly believe that all training events (even bad ones!) will provide you with the opportunity to learn.  However, you need to assume some responsibility for that learning process. 

The model pictured here is one I developed to help participants get the most out of their next training event.  Perhaps it will prove useful to you...

L - Learn

Be clear about your objectives for attending.  Often, people attend a training event without a clear idea of what they want or expect to get out of it.  As a result, they typically receive very little benefit.  This is an investment of your time, if not your money!  Ultimately, you are responsible for your own training.  The clearer you are about what you want to achieve, the more likely you are to find it.

E - Engage

Participate and engage fully!  This makes the material more memorable and helps maintain your energy and focus.  You will only get out of the session what you put in.  If you are not mentally present to the messages being delivered, you will not connect with the information or its potential for you.

A - Attitude

Maintain an open mind and positive attitude.  This leaves you open to discovering new ideas and concepts that will likely take you beyond your initial objectives, enabling you to obtain more than initially envisioned from the training.

R - Retention

Take copious notes!   You will never remember it all and you don't yet know what information will prove useful to you in the future.  The very act of engaging with the material through note-taking also helps to strengthen your connection with it and your remembrance of it.

N - Network

Network with the other participants to take advantage of the full collective wisdom gathered together.

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