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Learning Essentials: Classroom Training!

Posted by on March 14, 2012

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.


Introducing our 5-week series: Influencing when not face-to-face

Posted by on August 8, 2011

Now that you know how to overcome objections during an influence encounter, and you’ve mastered our 3 easy steps to improving your overall influence skills, you should be prepared for another type of influence situation: Influencing when not face-to-face.

Influencing when Not Face to FaceMore and more of our business interactions and relationships are being managed at a distance. It is not unusual to have clients, suppliers and teammates spread across the globe. Successful influence is founded upon clear communication–and communication only really occurs when the recipient has received and understood our message. This article suggests some ways in which we can positively influence people, even when we can’t speak with them face-to-face.

We influence others through the actual impact we have on them, not through our good intentions. Research has consistently shown that our impact comes as much from the non-verbal components of our communication as it does from the words alone. One of the difficulties we have when seeking to influence someone when not face-to-face is that the non-verbal part of our message is either diminished, or completely nonexistent.

Another essential ingredient of successful influence is flexibility of style. The most effective non-face-to-face influencing media are those that give us a chance to see how the other person is reacting to what we are saying, such as video conferencing. This provides us with verbal and fairly good visual feedback so that we can adapt our style and behaviour appropriately.

But life isn’t perfect! Often we are forced to influence over the phone, by email, and even by letter! Over the next 5 weeks, we’ll take a look at the impact that non-face-to-face interactions have on your influence effectiveness.

Where to start?

Positive Power and Influence is a model of positive influencing behaviours. This model describes the styles and behaviours you can choose to employ when seeking to influence others and build or maintain a positive relationship. The model also describes the key components of communication:

  • the words you use
  • the music you employ – how you use your voice
  • your “dance” – how you use your body, gestures and facial expressions

You really can have successful “virtual” influence encounters! Please join us next week as we talk about influencing over the telephone.

Contact CGWA

Angela Steatham is an expert trainer for CGWA. Based in the U.K., she delivers the Positive Power and Influence program throughout Europe.