I want to love yoga, but I get so frustrated when I go to the class at my local gym! I am constantly wondering, “Are my hips at the right angle for downward dog? Are my hands and feet pointed in the right direction?” As I move into each pose, I watch what the instructor is doing but I still don’t feel like I have the proper form. I end up leaving feeling more stressed than relaxed.
Therein lies the problem. I am observing the instructor’s presentation but the instructor is not observing me. At my gym, the instructor stays on her “stage” and guides us through the poses, but never actually walks around to monitor our performance or provide coaching when needed.
When delivering training on a new skill, it is essential that, in addition to presenting the information, you also monitor the participant’s application of the new skill and provide feedback on how they are performing the task. For example, if after demonstrating a yoga pose, my instructor walked around the room observing the participants, providing positive reinforcement and/or coaching when someone was doing a pose incorrectly, it would make me feel more relaxed.
By incorporating a variety of instructional techniques into our training and using presentation, application, and feedback, we can ensure a transfer of training is taking place and our learners are leaving our training sessions with the knowledge and the skills to perform consistently and effectively back on the job.
As instructors, let’s make sure our participants are leaving our classes feeling successful and stress-free and that their “downward dogs” leave wagging their tails!
Our Instructional Techniques for New Instructors workshop is full of tips and techniques for your trainer’s toolkit! What tips do you have for your fellow trainers?