Reflection, Revision, Refinement

 Reflection, Revision, Refinement

For us looking back over the past year, the message, aim and challenge that has become particularly prevalent is: ‘Making Learning Real’. It’s not a resolution as such but an idea and ambition that we want to bring in to the spotlight. Our ultimate goal is to help clients embed learning, so that it can used effectively in the day-to-day role. We’re looking at long-term solutions and professional development, not simply tick-box training.

This approach requires a holistic strategy; one that not only equips individuals with the knowledge, skills and attitudes (KSA) necessary but that also establishes a sustainable and effective support network within the organisation. One that will enable individuals and teams alike to deliver the expected results.

Carol Kelly’s, ‘Simple but not so Simple’ challenge:

Fold your arms. Now, uncross them and fold them the other way…not as easy or simple as you first thought right?

‘I often run this exercise with delegates at the beginning of a course,’ says KSA trainer, Carol Kelly, describing how, ‘when asked to fold their arms the other way I often hear comments such as, “It’s hard”, or “That feels uncomfortable”.’

It’s a powerful exercise because being challenged can feel uncomfortable and strange but ultimately, it shows that this is when you’re learning and pushing yourself. When you return to your day-to-day role after training, your tendency will be to go back to the way you naturally or usually fold your arms but this is the point at which it’s most important to try and challenge yourself and break that mould, so you can implement what you’ve learnt and make those positive changes.

Leadership and management

are just as much a part of the learning process as the individuals themselves. They need to be the ones to lead, coach, mentor and support; to help someone to learn to fold their arms differently! After all, learning is an on-going process and this is too how it should be addressed in training strategy terms.
There are many different ways to achieve this and different organisations require their own approach. For one client, we created what we have named ‘Make it Real’ (MiR) cards, which function as coaching guides; providing practical ideas for managers to support members of their team, all in line with the learning from recent sales team training.

Ultimately, ‘Making Learning Real’ should be the automatic ‘next step’ following a training course. Training isn’t effective on its own, it can’t go unsupported back in the workplace; it needs to be made real. Carol jokes that it’s ‘like having Ant without Dec – it just doesn’t work!’


DID YOU KNOW? The learning retention rate for information provided in a lecture format is merely 5%, whereas active participation and practical involvement takes retention up to 75%!

So, have you considered FORUM THEATRE? Using professional actors to create real-life scenarios, it’s another great participatory tool, which makes learning real by giving delegates the opportunity to direct, construct and participate in scenes that they may come across in the workplace.

If you’d like to know more about Forum Theatre, read our blog article: ‘Make Training Stick’.