The last leaves have dropped from the maple tree in my front yard. That’s my signal each autumn to set a challenge myself for the coming new year. For 2018 I’m circling around a challenge to examine my need to be the smartest person in the room when I’m the trainer. Here’s a first draft of the logical underpinning and the challenge I’m setting for myself, followed by a request for your input and an invitation to join me:
- If someone repeatedly acts like the smartest person in the room, others will hang back. So I ask myself, “Do I want the participants in my sessions to hang back?”
- There is often a pull from participants for the trainer to be the expert. This makes sense, after all I am the presenter. Yet I ask myself, “If participants are looking to me for expertise, does that mean that I need to play the expert role the entire time?”
- Being the smartest in the room might feel good for a minute, but in the long term it will limit my ability to be an effective educator. If I always have to be the first with the “right” answer, I am not modeling a learning process that matches life outside the room (where things take a while, people work together towards a solution, and mistakes are made along the way), and I am elbowing out alternative perspectives and ideas. Ultimately, I ask myself, “Can I look beyond the momentary ego boost of feeling smart, and create an environment where collaboration and experimentation are valued?”
My 2018 Training Practice Challenge (first draft)
I challenge myself to observe my training practice this year through this lens:
- Is my training style rooted in being the smartest person in the room? How does that approach serve the learning process, and where does it fall short?
- Where being the smartest falls short, what could I do differently? Starting with a 15% solution, what could I do to improve the learning process 15% of the time?
What do you think?
I’d love your input on this. What holes do you see in my reasoning? Are there aspects I’ve overlooked? Is this a challenge you would join me in undertaking this coming year? Please comment below, or use the Learn-o-rama contact form to reach me.