Had an off day?

Sooner or later, if you work in the training profession ,or any profession, really; you will inevitably experience an off day.  Perhaps you had a group that was very resistant to the material that you were delivering. Maybe you didn’t sleep well. For one reason or another, sometimes we just have a tough day.  As professionals, it is important for us to be able to affirm our feelings and choose behaviors that allow us to maintain dignity and respect in our workplace environment.  

The real challenge of a tough day is recognizing it for the growth opportunity that it can be.  We often learn a lot more from our challenging experiences than our easy ones. Growth typically occurs outside of our comfort zone.  While it is not comfortable, it is enlightening to look back upon a difficult day and process the information in a way that helps us develop.   It can be helpful for trainers to debrief after a difficult training in a similar manner to how we would expect staff members to debrief any other challenging incident.  I like the debriefing model that our friends at Timian (www.timian.co.uk) use. There are three stages to this process:

  • Hot debrief: this occurs shortly after the incident.  The primary focus of the hot debrief is to create emotional safety and stability.  If a trainer has a difficult class it can be helpful for them to vent with a trusted friend or co-worker immediately after the trainin
  • Structured debrief: this occurs after emotions have stabilized.  In this phase, it is important to explore what went well and what did not go well.  If there are multiple trainers that facilitated the training, each trainer can write down two things that went well and two things that went wrong.  Discussion can ensue. If the trainer worked alone, it is still helpful to address these questions.
  • Post structured debrief: this occurs after the structured debrief.  The purpose is growth. This is the time to identify at least two key learning points.

John Windsor – Mandt Faculty

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