After writing a piece about how to facilitate trainings that get heads nodding, I realized there was one tip that I didn’t offer: as facilitators, we need to be constantly assessing ourselves, so that we can identify weak spots and continuously work to grow and improve.
Now, I am not suggesting a “Here’s All The Ways That I Suck As A Facilitator And Therefore A Person” gripe-fest, which is destined to leave you feeling like a failure and contemplating why on earth anyone would ever want to have you facilitate for them ever.
No, that’s not helpful. Not even a little bit.
What IS helpful, though, is to occasionally run yourself through a series of questions designed as self-assessment and reflection opportunities—questions that just might open up ideas on how you can be even better than you already are. Let me get you started:
- What assumptions am I making when I am preparing for my training?
- What assumptions am I making during my training?
- What assumptions do I have about my audience?
- What activities that I facilitate fuel me?
- What activities that I facilitate drain me?
- When or where do I feel most self-conscious when facilitating?
- When or where do I feel most confident when facilitating?
- At what point(s) during my training do I see my audience most engaged—what is happening? What does it look like? What does it sound like?
- At what point(s) during my training do I feel my audience disengaged or disinterested? What is happening? What does it look like? What does it sound like?
- What are things I should be considering about environment and set-up prior to the start of a training?
- How can I help my audience feel “safe”—understanding the expectations of the training, feeling like their needs are met, and comfortable in the space?
- What might someone need who is the opposite of me? For example, if I enjoy moving around during a training, what can I do to care for someone who prefers to stay in one place? Or, if I don’t care about seeing the agenda for the day, how can I support someone who really needs each part of the training mapped out?
- What activities am I still facilitating just because I always have? Are they still working?
- What are new books/websites/podcasts/people that I can explore to gain new ideas?
- What are my evaluation reviews telling me? What patterns do I see emerging in what the participants’ responses are?
- What participant “type” bothers me the most as a facilitator? Why do they bother me, and what can I do to move past that?
- When I “mess up” during a training, how do I recover? What are my strategies for getting a training back on track?
- How do I follow up after a training? Do I get participants information or resources they requested? Do I put away my supplies and file my agenda?
- What is my self-care strategy after a training? What do I do to refill my own tank, after giving so much of my fuel to others?
- What am I missing?
Okay, you got it from here?
Remember—consistent assessment and reflection is not about wallowing in what’s not working; instead it’s about sitting in wonder about could be working even better. Enjoy sitting in that wonder.
What’s your wonder-place look like? Share with us your best self-assessment practices in the comments section below.
"Identifying Training Weaknesses: 20 Questions to Ask Yourself", The Leadership Program, Inc. 2016