- Discuss rules of behaviour for the session/training event right at the commencement of the training. This should cover how learners want to work together and stick to this this agreement. You might consider creating a flip chart or slide with the agreed rules written on it. In a physical training room, you can display the chart and in the virtual world-why not send it as a document to your attendees?
- Never mock (even in fun) a participant, respect the rule that there is no such thing as a stupid question. Mocking people even as part of so-called banter is counter-productive and if the person being laughed at is fine with it, others in the group may be thinking ‘I hope I don’t get picked on”
- Respect other cultures, class , race, religion, gender, orientation or lifestyles. Participants are there to learn not be disrespected and as part of this make sure any case studies or examples used on the training event do not inadvertently do this. For example, on a negotiating skills course the roleplay asked participants to play the part of Beer Brewer and for one learner whose religion forbids alcohol this was a very uncomfortable situation. Additionally, do not tolerate disrespectful behaviours from all attendees -deal with any such behaviour immediately.
- It is important to ensure that participants understand the directions from the trainer so patiently repeat them and if possible display the directions either on screen or flipchart. A good idea that always works for me is to have a learner explain back to the group what the instructions are.
- My parents always taught me to use “please” and “thank you” and when you use these words when training it continues to show respect and help participants feel comfortable. Don’t forget these basics.
- Ensure that all participants understand the controls on the online platform such as zoom. Don’t assume that everyone knows what features like chat, annotation are-sometimes people feel dumb because they haven’t used a feature before and are too afraid to ask.
- In a physical training room always ensure that every participant has the resources they need such as paper and pens. I like to lay out the room carefully rather like preparing a table for a fancy meal.
- When asking a direct question to participant always allow them the opportunity to pass and do not embarrass them for doing so. You can always check in with them later to see if there was a problem consider chatting to them privately either online or during a coffee in the physical world.
- Avoid using nicknames, judgement names or stereo typical labels even in jest. It can be tempting when faced with Learners with the same first name to create a nick name just to avoid confusion however let the participants decide how they wish to be distinguished from others of the same first name.
What other ideas would you add to this list?
Is creating the right environment in either the virtual or physica training room important to you and you want to know more? Why not book a call with me and have a free on obligation discussion?