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For years I have been giving the same training with great enthusiasm to bring people together and to let them experience energy. The result is always different, so I keep doing it. Of course, the result depends on the group and their objective or mindset. Sometimes there is fatigue after a day of meetings. Sometimes there is resistance to stepping out of a comfort zone, or something is happening in the organization that I am unaware of. But it also happens that a group is eager to get started.
I note that the environment influences the result. There have been parking lots, small meeting rooms (above a bar), an island, a tennis court, an old church, or a park. I look back on these moments fondly. And I look forward to many wonderful experiences.
In this blog, I am talking about a new form of reflection. I encourage you to see lessons from the past and be open to what is going on now in preparing for your meeting, workshop, or training. Both you and the group can benefit from this.
The training courses develop through my reflection on what I experience and learn. After every workshop, training, or coaching session, I write down what went well, what didn’t and what I want to do differently next time. That is the basis of reflection. You can read more about how you can reflect in the article below:
Benefits of reflecting
Reflecting helps me improve and respond better to the group’s needs by, for example, doing extra research, learning new techniques, or leaving something out.
Reflecting also helps me to let go if, for example, something went wrong during a session or if I didn’t feel well afterward. By writing it down, I can understand it better and distance myself from the emotions.
I always prepare no matter how many times I’ve done the powerful team-building training by reading old reflection reports and looking for available information from the customer on the internet. I am always interested in the purpose, vision, mission-the WHY- or the values of an organization. This information is included in my sessions and workshops to be recognizable to the organization I am teaching.
Of course, there is always a preliminary meeting with the client in which I determine to what extent my training or workshop fits best into their program and the objectives to ensure that it becomes a sustainable experience.
We often reflect after an event. I recently discovered a definition of reflecting:
Using one’s brain actively and consciously to form ideas.
My reflection reports contain many ideas for a different approach to a training or intervention. I write it after the activity. What if you do that beforehand? If you are going to start with proflecting or to reflect ahead?
And so, at the beginning of this year, I prepared a training that was very different from what I had imagined. It was a group of 250 people. I envisioned a standard workout that would take about 45 minutes. I waited and waited. Finally, the group arrived, and they only had 20 minutes before their next activity—far too little time for what I had prepared.
That morning, I read an article that a workshop is successful if the attendees have just one successful experience. I only did 1 exercise then, and that was a success! That means that as a trainer, you have to keep it simple.
You reflect ahead after preparing your training: There has already been consultation with the customer about the wishes, you have collected working methods and theory, and a timeline is available (that’s how I work). You also know where the training will take place and what the set-up of the meeting-room must be. By reflecting ahead, I could ensure that the training would succeed.
How do you proflect?
If you’re getting in the car, train, or bike to get to your session, it’s time to proflect.
You start with an intention. Ask yourself what you want to achieve that day and what role you have. Examples of intentions are: Today, I help people to connect, or I am clear in my explanation of communication profiles. What resonates with me is: “Today, I will have fun.”
Check-in with yourself
Ask yourself how you feel. What emotions, fears, wishes, or thoughts do you have? You are acknowledging them and allowing them to be there (especially those of fear or nervousness). These feelings then have less grip on you, so you can perform better.
Keep your eyes and ears open
What matters is that you are aware of what you see, hear, or read before the event starts. For example, before the workshop with 250 people, I read an article that encouraged me to let a group have one successful experience. I applied that right then.
In a different context, someone could also say something to you that could apply to your training or workshop.
Also, look for billboards or writings on trucks. In my experience, they contain messages that help me understand things going on in my life or a message to prepare better for things to come.
Check-in with the group
And when I come to my destination, I always check with my client whether I need to know something or whether something has happened that could influence the training course. Sometimes I ask participants who arrive early how they are doing and how the last part of their meeting was. I can fall back on that if it contributes to my part.
Does it help them?
Perhaps you have prepared a nice and good intervention, exercise, or activity. To avoid not being it about me (and how well I can do it), ask yourself how much this activity helps people achieve their goals and how it serves them rather than you (and your ego).
Proflect in line with your WHY
Your WHY is your contribution and the effect on the world. It makes me enthusiastic and energized when I live my WHY in my work. If I do something that is not in line with my WHY, it costs me energy, and people can notice that I am not authentic. That affects people. They don’t understand me, or there is a resistance to participating. When that happens, I immediately connect with my WHY and do something that aligns with my WHY.
Do you want to discover your WHY?
Your WHY is always positive, action-oriented, and generative. It helps you to make better choices and respond creatively to what is going on in your life right now. It begs to be discovered. I can help you with that. Read more about your WHY or this article about what a WHY session looks like here. Contact me today for a free introduction.
How do you reflect ahead before a meeting, workshop, or training? Let me know in the comment field below. The other readers of this article. and I are looking forward to reading from you!
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