Jim’s Journal: Take Care of the Prisoners

August 26, 2013 in Jim's Journal

“Management said I had to be here.”  “The only reason I’m here is because it’s mandatory training.”  “I’ve taken this class before and I know more than the facilitator.”  These are all statements a P.O.T. (Prisoners of Training) would or have said about an upcoming training session.  These are the people who would rather run with the bulls blindfolded than attend a training session.  The unfortunate part is that sometimes they come in to the learning session open-minded but turn into prisoners because of our boring, uneventful, lecture-based, monotone approach to training.  What to do?

Here are five ways to get the person to take off their self-imposed handcuffs:

  1. Share a time when you were a prisoner and what the facilitator did to turn you around.
  2. Address her concerns directly and share that you will do everything in your power to make this a rewarding experience.
  3. Give him an opportunity to lead the group work and to share his previous experiences.
  4. Provide surprise content.  Don’t be predictable.
  5. Use competition and activities to your advantage.  Have fun with him/her.

*BONUS:  When addressing his concerns tell him that before the session is over you will revisit his concerns to see if the training has been valuable to his growth and development.  Oftentimes they do not want to show up because they don’t think they’re going to get anything of value.  We have to change that!

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