Please, stop already

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I am gonna go out on a limb here and assume that you can identify with my pain.

Have you ever been to a training where the person training you had no business training you? Either because they didn’t know their stuff or because they were incredibly inept at presenting the material?

As a former teacher, I of course sat through lots of presentations from people who were good at presenting but there was the occasional person that snuck in once in a while who really had no business being in front of people. It was a rarity though. But…

Good grief, almighty! I have become increasingly aware that the industry I am in now has  MANY people who should not be training others. In most cases, they know the material. In most cases. But, whey have no idea how to present the material in an engaging way. In a way that gets you involved. In a way that gets you to care about what you are learning. That helps you get invested in what you’re doing.

I sat through one of those sort of presentations, again, yesterday. Man it was painful. But, after it was all over and done, one of my clients came to the back of the room where I was sitting and gave me a nice complement. I was just attending the session like everyone else, but she came up and said, “I wish you had done that presentation. It would  have been a lot more entertaining.”

I guess I am not the only one who doesn’t like to sit through painful trainings with people who shouldn’t be training others.

Sit down and shut up

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One thing I know for sure, teaching a class or training people never goes quite as planned. There are always things you can’t account for, even when you have experience and account for things you know will happen – because they always do.

I was a high school teacher for 15 years. One thing I got used to was that students, no matter how engaging the lesson was, never were really invested in what they were learning. I mean who are we kidding, right? Students don’t see how what they are doing now prepares them for something down the road, in the future. They are too focused on today to understand that. So interest in class was always a challenge, no matter the subject.

Now that I am no longer in the classroom, I am teaching at a different level, so to speak. I am teaching adults (teachers and school district employees) about how to use the software they use every day. Now, we are talking about people with different life experiences than students. People who know that what they are being taught will be useful to them immediately, or at the very least in the very near future. YET, they are, in some cases, a worse audience than high school students!

Teachers are a notoriously bad audience. I know because I was one of those bad audience members. But I see it all the time from adults. They sit and have side conversations, text, look at email, grade papers, etc. I even had one teacher watching the World Cup on his computer while at a training class. Yeah, real professional, buddy.

Listen, I get that teachers have a millions of things on their mind and a billion other things to do. I can totally relate! BUT, if you won’t let your students (or at least have the expectation that your students will not) act this way, why do you think it is acceptable to act that way when you’re in class? You’re an adult, for pete’s sake. Have a little more self-control than your 4th graders for crying out loud.

So, SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP!

Time, not my friend

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You know when you have stuff to do at work and there just isn’t any time? Yeah, that’s me today and all of next week.

People are sick, so you have to cover them. People need to get hired, so you cover jobs they would normally be responsible for. People are gone giving training or getting training, so you have to cover them. It’s a wonder I have time for my own job!

I have to give training next week and so far I have had less than an hour to prepare. The prospect of time today, is next to nil. The prospect of time next week is just above nil.

Guess I’ll wing it, like usual.

Something I already know

man wearing white shirt and gray dress pants sitting on green stool

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Ever gone to one of those “trainings” where they train you on something you already know?

Yeah, me too.

So you spend three hours doing the “bobs”…that’s the fun activity where your head nods up and down while you fight dozing off and keeping your head upright. Some people call them the “nods” but I just call them the bobs because it reminds me of a fishing bobber that tries to stay above the surface of the water as the fish pulls it down…think of this as your head trying to stay out of the fog of sleep.

Anyway, here’s to hoping your Friday isn’t ruined by someone telling you something you already know.

 

Zip it!

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NOT a zipper merge, but an example of how it feels when it is done wrong.

One thing I is for sure, Americans don’t like to merge on to highways. What’s worse is that we apparently also have no manners when it comes to merging, which stresses people out about merging even more. Thus, it becomes a never ending cycle.

One thing is also for sure, if the zipper merge was done correctly we’d all spend less time sitting in traffic. Look at the example below:

zipper20merge

Or better yet, take a look at the video below!

Come on, people, get with the program and we’ll all get to where we wanna go faster and more safely. Oh, and have a little patience already!