Few years back I was travelling with the CEO of a very large organization at marine drive in Mumbai. Marine Drive is known for its business location and beauty. It looks great with beautiful sea on one side and magnificent buildings on the other side glittering impressively with hundreds of advertisements glow signs, bill boards, kiosks hanging around the sea. The large tract of buildings along side the sea brightens up the whole area and gives a very impressive feeling. As it was evening the traffic was heavy as usual, while gazing out he looked at few of the glow signs and boards glittering with bright light and said “Its waste”. I was zapped to hear it coz for me they were bright shining advertisements with fancy models. I could not resist asking him for finding them waste. His reply was simple and is still fresh in my mind. He said, “You are attracted by the dazzling light and models but the message of the advertisement is not retained. Do you remember what was written on it? And that’s what we pay for in the advertisement. We do not pay to promote models, we pay to promote our value, product, message“
Yes, it’s very true that human mind is highly customized. It only retains most powerful things expressed in extremely simpler way. Simpler the better! It applies in Training also. The effectiveness of training lies in its presentation methodology. I firmly believe and when ever I have the liberty I always try to limit my training slides to lowest possible or maximum 15 slides for 5 to 6 hours (one day) training. Yes its true! Just 15 slides for one day training! It is highly important for a trainer to retain the interest level of participants during the programme. And it becomes little more tough with more matured group of participants. The most important aspect of training is “How effectively you can communicate the learning, to the participants and how much they take away and retain it for long”.
While it is being debated globally that Human Resource is Science not Art, the Training Delivery is also becoming extremely scientific and innovative. We can find many wonderful trainers around us while working either as consultant or representing some reputed organization and doing great job. They are the ones who have been instrumental in putting credibility to the function, which once was seen more as a “facilitating support function”. There are regular innovations taking place in this field. Training has become a full time industry with huge visible impact on business. Organizations have realized the power of People and have started investing on Skill as well as Aptitutional and Attitutional development. Let me share few of the globally popular methodology, which for reasons are hugely impactful to business and people. I am not debating the merit or demerit of other models but would like to concentrate on these due to “its retainable capability” in terms of maintaining the interest during the session and of course post sessions. As rightly can be stated “ Session ke saath bhi, Session ke baad bhi”.
STORY TELLING: An ever green methodology!
I have always been charmed by the stories since my child hood. I still remember during my school days of reading comics while having my lunch or dinner or listening to same old stories by my grand parents. Few of the stories I still remember very clearly are the ones I had heard from my grand parents. If I recollect now I wonder many of such stories they would have repeated and shared with us umpteen times but every time it sounded interesting.
Learning through Story Telling is another interesting training methodology becoming popular these days. In older times the teachers or priests used to teach people through stories and used to communicate and share messages and values of life. Today trainers with same objective and same process to touch upon the listeners are using this. I strongly advocate this model due to its “ Instant connect and strong attention attracting power”.
How It Works:
- It is a form of communication with important messages or teachings are communicated through an informal but innovative way.
- The trainer or Story Teller picks up the subject and initiates the talking through story around it. Eg subject of Conflict management in Team can be expressed through the story of “Chakde movie” and participants can raise queries in between if they do not under stand it.
- The sessions are kept interactive with two-way open communication (though limiting it to asking questions for clarifications only to avoid getting it hijacked).
- To maintain the interest the trainer throws up related questions to help people understand and connect better.
- Few Trainers create an environment of “ learning from each other” by encouraging participants to address the queries are raised by the participants.
Success Factors of Story Telling:
Like any other model this module also has certain factors playing an important role in its success. These factors can be seen as little “different” and interesting.
Environment dependent: Its more impactful with right kind of environment. Though there is no such prescribed environment format for it and solely depends upon the participants and trainer. But as a preference the “ comfortable aura” is the critical aspect to it. A touch of informality and coziness can create wonders in it.
Worldly Knowledge Trainer: While it is very important for Trainer to possess deep subject knowledge but also need to be Worldly wise. A fair knowledge of general awareness, politics, mythology is must for an impactful session. More of worldly awareness makes the session interesting as can come out with more examples around the subject being discussed. It is the other way round where subject is linked with story and the relevance of story makes the subject retained.
Connecting Communicator: Communication style of the trainer depends is another critical factor in the success. She / he needs to have the ability to Connect with the participants. It is at times interesting to observe that a successful story telling session does not require too much of the usage of words to play, rather the ability to connecting with the group matters more.
Homogeneous Participants: It is important to have the participants from the same type and homogeneous. A same level group enjoys and learns more effectively than Non Homogeneous group where more of the effort of Trainer goes on managing and explaining. It also Dis engages them.
While Story telling is a futuristic interesting module few other powerful and popular proven delivery models have been Discussion forums, Game Led Sessions, and Role Play/ Activity led . These are effective as they attracts higher level of participation with special mentioning of some more reasons which have helped making them successful: Though I am undoubtedly not doubting the effectiveness of various other modules being implemented by many esteemed trainers.
- One of the characteristic of these programme is they create high level of charged up involvement with positive energy and ideas.
- It also breaks the “structure and hierarchical mindset” during the session if conducted well.
- At times it also throws new aspects and perceptions to the session by participants thus throwing challenge to the trainer to effectively moderate and integrate the diverse new points to a meaningful conclusion.
- Another beautiful characteristic of these methodologies are their “multi-programme Applicability”. These methodologies can be used for any kind of training, either Product or Skill, or functional with far reaching impact on the participants.
Overall the science of Training art is a proven learning methodology and with time it is one of the high priority innovation driven field in years to come. Its one core Objective is to make Learning a beautiful & impactful experience.