One of the best parts of being in a community of educators is that there’s always something new to learn from other like-minded individuals. Call it, adding to your toolbox.
Colleagues, mentors and thought-makers are constantly swapping tips, tricks, and anecdotes to help craft our work to make it stronger, more meaningful and more relevant.
Here are some of my own reminders and learnings from the past week. I hope to make this a weekly feature you can use to replenish your own toolkit.
- Know your purpose – meaning, remember the purpose of each exercise/game/discussion you introduce. Does it tie back to your desired outcomes?
- Don’t brainstorm cold – treat brainstorming like an athletic endeavor – to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your brainstorming sessions, prepare your team with an energizer or warmup that gets them in an alert, present, and slightly brain-fried state. You’ll get those ideas popping faster.
- Introverts have longer runways – remember that introverts often just need more time to process ideas and thoughts. Help them feel comfortable by giving them the topic before brainstorming sessions, and utilize more small-group discussion.
- Experiential learning and facilitation go hand-in-hand – a facilitator’s job is to help lead your students to the answer (to the truth). Key to uncovering those answers is adding an experiential element to your session where participants are more active and in control of their learning. This leads to self-reflection which leads to participants finding the answers to the questions facilitators pose. What’s more rewarding – to be told the answer or to discover it yourself?
- Choose simplicity – key to retention (beyond adding an element of self-reflection and direct application to the work being done) is simplicity. Have you broken down your teaching points into easily digestible bites? Make sure you leave time for a wrap-up that covers key points.
- Observe by playing – With just 10 minutes, you can learn and observe the dynamics of a team by playing one simple Improv-based game – key to applying an Improvisers approach to training and facilitation is recognizing that Improv is a teachable skill set, and not a comedy routine. Teach a team how to improvise, and watch their communication and collaboration soar.