Photo by: Mohamed Hassan via Pixabay
Thanks to technology, we’re all connected in so many ways! We’re connected through websites, social media platforms, and electronics. We use these connections to purchase goods and services, meet new people, and see what’s happening in the community. With access to the internet, it allows us to connect with people and places all over the world. How amazing!
Making connections in training is very important for learning. As professional trainers, we need to understand the concept of making connections in training, know why it is essential for learning, and know how to do it.
Whether we train virtually, through e-learning, in a classroom, or one-on-one, making connections is key. I’m talking about making a human connection with individual learners or with your group of learners. It is important to make connections with your participants so they feel welcome, comfortable, confident, and safe. If someone is scared, anxious, nervous, frustrated, or angry, they will struggle to learn. These emotions become barriers, preventing participants from connecting and learning from you.
Once we identify and knock down these barriers to learning, the fun can begin and participants will engage with us and stay engaged throughout the learning process. This does not happen automatically though. We must design training to include many techniques that help create a positive environment for learning to take place. We also need to use interpersonal skills and simple human behaviors at the right times to promote connections and learning.
Here are five specific techniques we can use to connect with our participants:
- Use eye contact often if you are teaching a group in person. When you engage a person by looking at them, it helps them feel included and safe.
- Use hand gestures to add power and meaning to your content delivery. Simple gestures draw the participant’s attention which you want to maintain throughout the class.
- Use icebreakers, brainteasers, and introductions early in training. These things all work on knocking down any barriers to learning.
- Use learner comments to teach new points. When someone asks a question or makes a point, remember it and use it later in the class to help teach a new point. Be sure to refer back to the original comment by using the person’s name.
- Use plenty of questions. When you ask questions, it gives learners a chance to be heard and to share what they think.
So, now that you have these five simple actions, you are now ready to make connections with individuals and groups to make learning happen effectively!
To learn what master trainers do to create a positive climate for learning, successfully lead groups, and motivate learners, check out our Advanced Instructional Techniques workshop. This workshop will give you countless new ideas and sources of inspiration to enhance your instructional style and techniques!