A training event is made up of much more than the actual time spent with a live instructor in a classroom or going through an asynchronous learning program on your own time. Furthermore, at the conclusion of an event, it is important to ask “reflection questions” so as to measure the value received from facilitating or attending the course and identify lessons learned for the next time the course is offered.
Whether you facilitated and led the program or you were an attendee, be sure to think about, process, and learn from what happened. Do what you can to ensure there is a lasting impact to the training experience.
Look around. There is something in the air as we enter the summer months. Facilitators and program participants alike are looking to the future with anticipation, and even expectation. As Learning departments and employees emerge from the work-from-home (WFH) phenomenon caused by the pandemic, they are positioned to reach out for the opportunity to build, facilitate, and attend development programs. Now is the time to review the calendar, take note of the programs offered, and fill available enrollments. But be sure not to only focus on the event. Spend time thinking through the momentum that is caused by people attending training programs.
Prompts to Discuss
Consider asking these questions after your next event. As an attendee, you might realize you learned more than you thought. And as a facilitator or organizer, you may identify something to do differently (or better!) next time. Open your notebook and write or invite a colleague into your office (or to meet you on Zoom!) to discuss these prompts:
1. What did we expect from the learning event?
2. What did we achieve/accomplish in relation to our expectations?
3. What were we prepared for?
4. What did we miss in our preparation?
5. (If you facilitated) What more can we do for the participants post-program?
6. (If you attended) What more can we do with what we learned (for the next time)?
Surely, you will think of a few more questions to ask. Schedule time to meet with a peer and share your reflection questions. While hindsight might not always be exactly 20/20, this kind of reflective practice provides us all with a unique view of the experience by thinking—and when possible, talking—about the timeline from event creation and planning through to execution and debrief. Now is the time to take advantage of the opportunity in front of us, to bring people together in learning and development programs. Use reflection to ensure you gain as much value as possible from those events.