Training is a key component of personnel and personal development. In some cases, it may be the reason people choose to work for your business. Trainings are crucial to the development of new teams, and the elixir for the rejuvenation of old ones. Yet, trainings should take into account the way adults learn.
Adults learn differently
When learning, adults can draw from their vast experience. Adults are also better at abstract thinking. They can figure out connections and deal with concepts the way children deal with toys. Map processes and analyze structures with impressive insight and depth. Transfer knowledge and insight to other contexts.
Isn’t it absurd, then, to teach adults the same way you’d teach children? This happens a lot. Most formal learning for adults is conceptually wrong. It uses the same design that child learning uses, which is redundant.
Consider the advantages of optimal adult learning. While in a team, any group of adults shares experiences. While working together, the group shares knowledge. And individual members collaborate on specific issues.
Due to adulthood, team members coordinate better to educate each other. And everything becomes a learning opportunity. You can create learning opportunities and place them optimally. As a result, strategy and planning intertwine with teaching. All of this is at the heart of training.
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Training is a process of self-discovery and learning. In it, adults learn what they know. Afterwards, they learn what they don’t know. And then, they learn how to know.
Group sharing makes everyone contribute to the development of everyone. This explains why training works so well. In training, adults can cover 5 times more material. And this can happen with greatly increased retention rates.
On the other hand, there are a lot of training services out there, including a lot of training products and gurus. Hence, it might get difficult to be discerning. Here are 5 trainings that work wonders with any team.
1. Conflict Management Training (CMT)
CMT and Conflict Resolution Training (CRT) are different things. CRT teaches you how to solve conflicts, to dismantle them. CMT teaches you to shift from negative to positive conflict. The first teaches you how to resolve conflicts; the second, how to manage them.
They both offer a mix of theory and practical exercises. They both offer practice with techniques. Either works great for a new team or for any team that needs a “restart”. Either helps with dismantling team tensions. Both help with prepping teams for client interaction.
With some teams, both CRT and CMT contribute to building confidence. Think about it, wouldn’t you like to know how to deal with conflicts? Of course you would. Moreover, if you know how to handle them, you will feel more confident. More self-assured.
CMT is effective in teams that work on any kind of development, including creative projects where conflicts should take the form of productive tensions. Teams that work with clients should go with CRT. Conversely, sales teams are better off with CMT. Seems like sales people thrive on conflict. In sales, you want to shift disputes to positive conflicts. This works as a generator and creates energy.
2. Team-building Training
Teams become teams. It might sound awkward, but it’s true. Teams become teams, and it’s a transformative process. How well this process happens is what makes or breaks teamwork. Team building is more than an organic process that unfolds over time.
Team building is a process which flows under guidance. It has foreseeable (and positive) outcomes that are part of strategic planning. And well-set milestones. Managers do the guiding; leaders do the gluing. The trainer is there as a medium through which everything unfolds.
Initially, you need team building so that you get team members to know each other. You provide a context in which they learn to communicate amongst themselves or as a group. Also, you allow teams to practice being teams and develop coordination.
Moreover, you boost morale and work-related enthusiasm. Hence, you develop trust-based communications. These allow team members to (self-)delegate on various tasks. Overall, you get to celebrate achievements as a team.
Regularly, you need team building training to deal with some situations. Teams may sometimes accumulate tension. Such tension is not solvable by CMT/CRT; rather, you can solve it in a team-building.
Other times, teams need to deal with any sort of change, from leadership to office processes. Team-building trainings allow you to dissolve perceptions and clear the air. This way, you can make change pleasant and more effective: it becomes a team effort.
Teams may suffer from harmful stereotypes and labeling. Issues may arise with integrating new team members. Human variance is great enough to make you need team-buildings several times a year.
3. Diversity Awareness Training (DAT)
Yes, it’s “DAT” type of training. DAT explores topics such as intercultural differences, gender issues, etc. Considering that teams are now global, international, diverse, DAT training is crucial. Unfortunately, diversity awareness trainings are often neglected.
DAT teaches teams about differences and similarities between people. It teaches them about being mindful of others and their differences. It’s an eye-opening experience, and can be quite emotional.
Understanding and respecting diversity is useful to people working together, and more. Teams can factor in differences as assets. Hence, you get fewer to no cases of bullying or harassment. And businesses can enjoy the limited risks and liability.
This is a no-brainer. You get to improve your team dynamics and productivity while limiting liability. Besides, there’s a moral standpoint here. A great deal of harm results from not developing an egalitarian culture. Also, lost productivity factors in as a blind opportunity cost.
Any modern workplace should accept all cultures, preferences, and orientations. And more, it should create learning opportunities that can prevent harmful behaviors.
It may be as simple as educating teams about differences in personal space. It might be as difficult as mitigating strong and opposing personal beliefs. Bottom line, diversity awareness will create an environment in which people are happy. And yes, even introverts can be happy.
4. Public Speaking and/or Effective Communication Training
Make no confusion, public speaking and effective communication are not the same. Whereas the former develops a skill, the later improves an ability. The first empowers you to deliver in front of an audience. The second ensures you make yourself understood.
Everyone should train in public speaking. And not for preserving the ancient arts of persuasiveness. Rather, modernity offers plenty of relevant opportunities. Public speaking is a tool. You use it to feel comfortable in public. You can learn to be charming and persuasive. Or you can learn how to be OK while expressing yourself. There is something in it for everyone.
Effective communication (EC) is a way of transmitting information. There are many requirements for communication to be effective. Information should be relevant, accurate, understandable, and complete. Also, it should reach the right audience on time.
One key difference between the two is effectiveness. Public speaking does not have to be effective communication. Sure, it can be funny, charismatic, inspiring. Stand-up comedy is public speaking. And so is toasting on a special occasion. Yet, you don’t use public speaking when talking to a colleague. At best, you use effective communication. In fact, effective communication is essential to teamwork.
Any team should get at least a bit of both. Great teamwork is achievable with effective communication. Conversely, you should want public speaking to boost confidence and enthusiasm. Luckily, most trainers can cover both of these. Bottom line: train your teams to improve communications. Or use collaborative teamwork solutions that work miracles for team communications.
5. Identity and Value Training (IVT)
This is a special type of training, and it’s rather innovative. Doing IVT as a standalone training is tricky, but it has beneficial effects for any team. Also, a lot of other trainings include some element of IVT.
Corporate, departmental, and individual identities should have congruence. So far, they are separate entities. And IVT training creates a context for such congruence, through cohesion and consensus.
Hence, let’s clarify. Firstly, IVT allows people to feel proud. Secondly, it allows new members to feel part of a track of achievements and to contemplate on their role. Thirdly, it provides context for teams to feel united in doing meaningful work. Lastly, it creates a basis for synergy.
This is valuable because teams need more than a common goal and the rules of the game. They need to feel their identity aligning with a mutual identity. Also, you get to educate teams and members about company cultures. Even receive input for new CSR ideas. Or simply reap the benefits of your CSR policies.
Moreover, you could get IVT training as orientation for new team members. Someone who knows your organization very well should deliver such a training. Actually, one of the founders is ideal for IVT. After all, no one else can do a better job at helping a team understand what their organization stands for.
These are the 5 trainings any team should receive. Try them and go even further, add others to the list.