Friday 4 June 2021

A Pointless Review?...

My avid readers will doubtless remember that some while ago, I was 
harbouring doubts about my online workshops.  So I was delighted to receive some excellent feedback from a recent online, modular time management programme.

However, I then ran a review session for a recent Negotiating Skills programme, which had been very well received (at the time). The idea of the review session is to get participants back together, a few weeks after the workshop, to compare notes on how they have applied the learning, and what further learning (and, of course, questions) have arisen as a result.

Part of the point, of course, is the accountability: on leaving the workshop, they know that they will be reporting back on their action plans: and that helps increase the likelihood of their actually acting on them, not forgetting when overwhelmed by business (in accordance with Cialdini's principle of Commitment and Consistency).

But on this occasion, one after another, the participants said that they had not had the opportunity to practice the skills, as no occasions to negotiate had arisen. They reported one or two other benefits and applications: some were being more assertive and less apologetic in their emails, for example. But overall, their aspirations had not been fulfilled.

As I listened to all this, I began to wonder if the review meetings were such a good idea after all: if it was just people reporting that they hadn't had the chance to apply the learning, what was the point?  However, I then reflected that the other point of the review meetings was to re-commit.  And when they hadn't yet found (or created) opportunities to apply their learning, that was particularly important.

So I got them working in small groups to consider what they could do to ensure that they didn't forget what they had learned, and how they could find (or recognise) opportunities to practice their new understandings and skills. 

So perhaps this review was even more valuable than the ones where they show up full of what they have done since the workshop - even if a little less flattering to my ego.


With thanks to Nicolas Lobos for sharing his photography on Unsplash

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