Member Since: 18th May 2007
Management Development Trainer - Working hard at being lucky
Management Development Trainer Grahame Robb Associates Ltd
My discussion replies
16th Jan 2017
Interestingly, I've always taken the traditional approach of "phones off" but I recently worked with a client in the tech industry (a very big, well known group) and my experience had made me re-think. I was warned off by the training manager that the culture there was such that connectivity was relentless and don't be offended if anyone takes a call, checks their phone, checks emails etc. He did say I could push back, but in all honestly, it'd be pointless, that's "just how it is". Naturally I did set some norms at the beginning, but sure enough, lots of distractions, people turning up late and so on. However, at the end of the session, I had a number of people stay back to talk to me and say how much they'd got from the training and how they were looking forward to using the skills learned. And from they way they spoke, it was clear they HAD understood it. I know wonder if this is just how Millennials learn and us 'fogies' need to understand that better. Certainly made me think anyway.
3rd Aug 2016
Sorry, haven't been on here in a while. Robber eggs are for balancing on top of paper towers (real eggs can mess the carpet up). Rubber ones are quite nice to throw at people to see if they're paying attention or not! ;-)
3rd Aug 2016
Balancing on top of a paper tower of course! (Real ones kept breaking)
3rd Aug 2016
If the course is more than a day, I debrief at the end of each day with 'what went well / areas for improvement' and I asked them to do a 'teach back' so I can see how they feel about the course and more importantly what they've learnt.
If it's a 1 day course, I do something similar (but briefer) after exercises.
Generally don't get that shock at the end then.
23rd May 2016
When you have some rubber eggs in your bag at all times.
13th May 2016
Yes - during some coaching training when the weather was particularly nice I encouraged people to do their coaching conversations outside. I then floated around between all pairs to monitor and observe them. It was all very civilised, no-one took advantage and mucked about (sunbathing etc.) and the mood was definitely lifted.
5th Feb 2016
This might be a bit late... but maybe for future exercises.
Ask everyone to write their signature 10 times. This should take no more than a minute max. Then ask them to put the pen in the non-dominant hand and do 10 more signatures (cue much moaning and groaning as people struggle). Have a brief discussion, more to distract them than anything else. “How hard was it?”; “Who managed it OK?”and so on. Then tell them to write 10 more signatures. Don’t mention what hand to use and don’t be drawn on this if anyone asks, just ask them to do it quickly, no chit chat. Nearly ALL will go back to the dominant hand and this is the learning… as soon as we can, we jump straight back to our comfort zone, do it the way it feels best or simply to ‘what we’ve always done’. THIS then is the real discussion.
5th Feb 2016
Ade, love the analogy and can TOTALLY relate. Sometimes I feel more like a child minder or a zoo keeper, but that's only on really bad days (thankfully rare). I have thought of the 'acting' comparison before and have even given myself the pre-talk "C'mon now Jane, game face on, smile, lift your shoulders, deep breath..." but I think I prefer your analogy.
29th Jan 2016
At the risk of sounding like a Luddite, I have also found this a struggle. I normally like to get to something within 2 clicks and it took me considerably more than that to find the Discussions forum. I'll persevere though, 'change agent' and all that!
27th Mar 2015
You mention you will be writing documents so the following exercise will be useful as there’s an emphasis on having clarity around the standard, rather than having something subjective and open to interpretation.
Split into groups and give each group some M&Ms. Tell them they need to find ones with ‘good’ Ms printed on and reject the substandard ones. One by one, ask each member of the team to accept or reject each M&M (the others wait outside whilst each person is taking their turn). Keep a record of what each ‘quality controller’ said were good and which were rejects (we lay them out on a large numbered grid so they don’t get mixed up). Get the team back together and compare results. Are they all agreed on what good looks like and have they accepted / rejected the same ones?
You can then take this to another level by introducing a clearly defined customer specification with acceptable tolerances such as 80% of the M must be clearly visible, all yellow ones are an automatic reject and so on. Once everyone understands the specs, re-run the exercise and again compare results. Now, you should see a much closer alignment as the instructions are clear and people know what is expected of the product.
You can keep this exercise simple, or you can keep expanding on it by getting them to write their own quality work instruction (one point lesson, standard operating procedure or whatever you call it).