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Learning Essentials: Classroom Training!

Posted by on March 14, 2012

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Over the last few months, we’ve discussed many of our workshops—expertly designed to make you a better communicator, influencer, manager, performance coach, presenter, sales rep, and more. The topics are diverse, but they all have one essential in common: classroom training.

Why not virtual training? Why not self-directed learning? Both of those methods have value, but as the famous Chinese proverb states, “Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Involve me and I understand.” In order for any participant to truly internalize learning, three elements are required:

  1. Face-to-face interactionClassroom Training
  2. Customized knowledge and exercises
  3. Quality feedback

Face-to-Face Interaction

Human beings are inherently social. This is why a videoconference just doesn’t feel the same as a personal meeting, and why we walk down the hall to speak to a co-worker instead of simply picking up the phone. Being physically present with a group of fellow learners is extremely valuable. In a group, you can experience new concepts, be exposed to different perspectives, and help each other reach understanding—all under the guidance of an expert instructor.

Meeting in a classroom setting, when done right, also minimizes distractions from the outside world. Emails, phone calls, and text messages can all serve to derail the training process. As an individual, it’s easy to give in to these things. But we find that groups are happy to agree to a distraction-free learning environment. This restraint is rewarded when learners leave the workshop feeling inspired, refreshed, and armed with immediately applicable skills!

Customized Knowledge and Exercises

Once a concept is presented, anyone can practice their skills using a generic case study or exercise. However, off-the-shelf material can only go so far. Building new cognitive pathways is challenging enough! You need the support of an instructor who is knowledgeable about your industry and organization, along with custom examples to practice with. Our highly educated instructors have years of real-world, industry and workplace experience, and collaborate with leadership to gain an in-depth understanding of your organization. Then they carefully design customized exercises, allowing the group—and each individual—to apply their learning in a direct and meaningful way. This is one of our secrets to achieving proven and lasting results.

Quality Feedback

Here at CGWA, we believe that real learning demands much more than a training manual and a well-presented lecture. For real learning to take place, personal feedback must follow each customized exercise, and should be given in an atmosphere of trust and respect. Peer and instructor feedback during the practice phase, including careful observation, praise, and constructive criticism, creates a complete picture for each participant. The observer must be able to see non-verbal communication, i.e. body language, and hear tone of voiceand reflect them back to those receiving feedback.

Bottom Line

When you think about all the aspects of human interaction and how they relate to learning, it seems obvious that classroom training is essential. Great leaders everywhere use this powerful tool to meet and exceed their group and organizational goals. At CGWA, we believe that classroom training should be a part of every organization’s learning and development curriculum.

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