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Training v Facilitation

Posted by: Joyce Matthews   |   No Comments   |  Posted on: Sep 11, 2012

Ever taken part in any professional development? Was it a course? A workshop? A seminar? Maybe a conference?
You know the type of thing where a trainer or speaker stands on the stage, you watch their Power Point presentation and you listen to what they tell you – about how they’ve been there, done that, written the book, been in the video? And every sentence has them in it – “When I was in charge of……. when I had to…… when I was at your stage………. in my experience…….. I’ve done………I’ve got……I want you to……..me, me, me”.
And you felt………?
So you come away full of their tips and ideas, of all the stuff that they’ve done to make them an expert in their field. And when you get back to work you try out a few of their ideas until you lapse into your old habits again? Sound familiar?
What if you could do some professional development that wasn’t all about that ‘sage on the stage’ telling you how wonderful they are?
What if you could do some professional development that is actually designed for the people listening? What if it is all designed for you? What if ‘you’ are in every sentence?  When it feels as if the ‘guide from the side’ speaks directly to you, knows your situation, your issues, your challenges and your needs and desires. What if they don’t give you their answers, tips and ideas, but help you to find your own? What if they help you to come to your own solutions, learning things that are just as useful for your professional life as well as your personal life too?
What if they work with you to help you understand that you already have the answers, you just haven’t realised it yet? What if they help you to see that you are the expert in your life and not some stranger standing on a stage who loves the sound of their own voice?
What if they enable you to have that light bulb moment?
You remember that moment, don’t you? When you come through that confusion, ambiguity and lack of understanding, and the fog clears and you get it. When the jigsaw pieces all fit together. When you suddenly feel you can do it.
What if you can choose that for yourself, or your staff, or your colleagues?
How does that make you feel?
And more importantly, how will it make your staff feel?
And what difference will it make? To you, to those you work with, to your family – to be able to figure out your own learning – that’s got to be the best professional development ever – hasn’t it?
So next time your planning your professional development, will you choose a ‘sage on the stage’ or a ‘guide from the side’?

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