Training: One size doesn’t fit all!

Picture this:  Your organization is delivering skill-building programs to several project teams, all at different stages of team development.  Do you have one curriculum for all these teams?  Hopefully not – you/we need to adjust the curriculum to the different stages of development of the teams.  For example, if team members are doing very well at figuring out the distribution of roles among the team, then you can skip that.

I saw this in one client’s training programs and advised them to adjust the curriculum.   The case studies they/we use should also come from the industry or work examples of the participants.  If you’re working in health care, you wouldn’t use an example of a museums board of directors.  Adult Learning 101.  In addition, the trainers need to identify more clearly the learning objectives of the different teams – which they could do through a survey or a focus group.  Whatever’s necessary to streamline the workshop to the needs of the participants – and to get them off their blackberrys 😉

I also noticed that the trainers were facilitating the discussion among team members (on project content), while the team leader was sitting down and participating in the discussion.  Why?  If we’re trying to build capacity –  that’s what training is for – then the trainers should let the team leader facilitate the discussion, and then they can sit in the back and be available to coach the team leader if necessary.   That might be a new role for trainers, but could be fun learning to observe and comment only when needed.   That’s capacity-building at many levels!

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