Identifying Training Weaknesses: 20 Questions to Ask Yourself

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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:

  1. What assumptions am I making when I am preparing for my training?
  2. What assumptions am I making during my training?
  3. What assumptions do I have about my audience?
  4. What activities that I facilitate fuel me?
  5. What activities that I facilitate drain me?
  6. When or where do I feel most self-conscious when facilitating?
  7. When or where do I feel most confident when facilitating?
  8. 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?
  9. 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?
  10. What are things I should be considering about environment and set-up prior to the start of a training?
  11. 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?
  12. 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?
  13. What activities am I still facilitating just because I always have? Are they still working?
  14. What are new books/websites/podcasts/people that I can explore to gain new ideas?
  15. What are my evaluation reviews telling me? What patterns do I see emerging in what the participants’ responses are?
  16. What participant “type” bothers me the most as a facilitator? Why do they bother me, and what can I do to move past that?
  17. When I “mess up” during a training, how do I recover? What are my strategies for getting a training back on track?
  18. 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?
  19. 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?
  20. 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

 

Erika Petrelli

About Erika Petrelli

Erika Petrelli is the Senior Vice President of Leadership Development (and self-declared Minister of Mischief) for The Leadership Program, a New York City-based organization. With a Masters degree in Secondary Education, Erika has been in the field of teaching and training for decades, and has been with The Leadership Program since 1999. There she has the opportunity to nurture the individual leadership spirit in both students and adults across the country, through training, coaching, keynotes, and writing. The legacy Erika strives daily to create is to be the runway upon which others take flight. If you enjoy these blogs, you should check out her interactive journal, On Wings & Whimsy: Finding the Extraordinary Within the Ordinary, now available for sale on Amazon. While her work takes her all around the country, Erika calls Indiana home.