Facilitating beginnings and endings

Whether you’re facilitating an idea generation session, a training workshop, an off-site or a meeting – you need tools and techniques to make the beginning and ending work well. Why? Too many such gatherings deliver too little – yet at a high cost, when the hourly rate for all the talent in the room is… Read more

7 Tips for In-House Trainers

Maybe it’s because I’ve been designing and leading learning workshops for a while now that people ask me to help their in-house trainers. Maybe it’s because the L&D budget has been cut and suddenly an in-house ‘faculty’ is needed. Or a bit of both. Whatever the reason, I think that sharing the expertise already on… Read more

Pros and cons of in-house training and trainers

Image by Ron Harvey/Deposit Photos Having been in my current line of work for over fifteen years, I often get asked to run ‘train the trainer’ workshops for clients’ internal trainers. What typically happens is that someone (usually senior, and/or in HR) decides that the expertise on the payroll needs to be shared much more… Read more

What do people really mean when they ask for ‘collaboration’?

For some time now I’ve been doing a fair bit of work around collaboration – at least that’s generally the starting point. Yet when we dig deeper into what’s really going on ‘collaboration’ may be what someone says they want, but isn’t really what they’re after. The harsh reality is they actually want someone else… Read more

10 tips for ending your in-house training workshops well

  1. Announce the end’s in sight At what point do you do this? I suggest allowing roughly 10% of the total time to draw proceedings to a close. So in Zoomly’s bite-sized workshops this can be as brief as 9 minutes. In a day-long bespoke event it could be 40 minutes. Whenever this is,… Read more

2 essential idea generation techniques

When we’re trying to generate lots of new ideas we often try too hard. What we really need to do is stop trying and simply brainstorm whatever comes to mind. However this can be really hard to do, because a) we look at the problem / issue / question from our own right-here-right-now perspective and… Read more

7 steps to better collaboration

See the situation through their eyes The same situation can be perceived very differently depending on our perspective. Picture what’s going on for the other person – what’s at stake for them? We can assume – wrongly – what their aims are. What positive intentions do they have? Be clear on what you care about… Read more

12 ideas for your next idea generation session

Force random connections Our brains love puzzles and games; forcing random connections is a great way to get us out of our habitual ways of looking at and approaching an issue. For example, you can ask your group to: 1. Play with metaphors. How is the challenge like: a car? A work of art? A… Read more

After the brainstorm session: so now what?

One of the easiest ways to kill the creativity in the room at a brainstorming / idea generation session is for someone to start playing editor. This person might be the facilitator, editing and critiquing as they scribe ideas onto a flipchart in front of the hapless group. Or they may be the most senior… Read more

10 tips for first-time facilitators

“Do I control everything or go with the flow?” This question is one that frequently comes up in our workshops on teams or brainstorming ideas. It’s my observation that people tend more towards one or the other throughout whatever event they’re facilitating. What they take away from the training is the insight that they need… Read more