Setting the learning climate is nothing new – it’s just been tossed aside due to “not enough time” or “not important enough to include.”
Yet when we ask trainers (especially SME’s) what they want to get out of our train-the-trainer workshops, the number one thing is “to increase participation and the retention of learning.”
When we bring up the subject of “setting the climate” it is quickly dismissed. So, we address it in a different manner. We ask participants how they felt when they entered our training environment – whether classroom or virtual. After some descriptors like “welcomed” or “friendly and fun” or “safe to participate” we then ask them what we did or said that made them feel that way. They start describing those things they observed, heard and or felt in specific terms and BINGO! They start realizing the importance of (and the work that goes into) setting an effective learning climate.
Setting the learning climate not only involves making participants feel safe and welcomed when they enter the room (real and virtual) and at the beginning of the session, but also at points in time when the climate may need to be re-set like after breaks and lunch or when something has happened to disrupt the flow of learning ( ah, yes, those lovely disruptive participants).
Since setting the climate directly ties into how active the participants will be in your workshop and therefore be able to carry their new set of knowledge and skills to the job , we want to hear from you! What are things are YOU doing in your learning environments to set and/or change the climate?
Looking forward to your ideas!
Maria Chilcote, Managing Partner, The Training Clinic