I received this text message recently.
Hi Jill, I decided to do a workshop.
What kind of workshop?
I’m going to teach about – you know, how you communicate with words, and with your eyes, and with your touch. It’s gonna be great. I’ve made the handout and am going to offer it right away, probably on Zoom, but maybe in person.
Sounds good. What do you want your participants to get out of it?
What do you mean?
What do you want them to learn?
I just told you. I want them to learn about communication.
So they will know this stuff.
What will they leave your workshop knowing that they didn’t know before?
They will know how to communicate better.
How will they learn this?
I’ll give a lecture and demonstration and then we will talk about it.
What will they be doing during your lecture and demonstration?
Watching and Listening to me.
And here’s where the rubber meets the road. Learning is an active process, not passive. Retention of information 2 weeks after a lecture is around 5%. Two weeks after your workshop, because you have been the active one, your retention of the information is nearly 90%
Well what can I do about it?
First set your objectives for the workshop in terms of what you want your participants to be able to do when they complete the workshop.
Do you want them to communicate better with their peers, their colleagues, their families? if so, an example of an objective might be:
By the completion of this workshop you will be able to recognize 3 different communication styles and the effects each has on teamwork.
I honestly never thought about it that way. I know what I want to teach, I hadn’t considered what someone might be learning.
Objectives let you facilitate learning and not just show and tell. Objectives place you and the learner on the same team. The learner knows what is expected and you know what you need to provide to help them reach the objective.
In addition, objectives help you consider how the learner can be more active in the learning process. With clearly stated communication objectives you can design creative learning experiences, case studies, role playing, problem solving, so the learner is active and you are facilitating that activity.
Thank you. You’ve given me a new perspective and something to think about.
The Certified Facilitator of Adult Learning course guides you in the development of active learners who are able to apply what you teach to better their lives. I’d love to work with you on your communication project.