Bad attendee

I recently attended a training. I will write the summary notes of that soon but first I need to own something…I’m a really bad attendee in trainings. Don’t get me wrong, I love to learn but I find myself struggling and frustrated frequently. So I’m taking the time to really reflect on why:

  1. I often make the statement “you may hate me after this session” when I share the neuroscience findings about how people learn best. Turns out, I hate myself too.  I really struggle when I’m sitting in 90+ minutes of lecture and I want to do something.  I find my mind wandering and unable to process the information. Then I get annoyed with myself for not having discipline to listen – even though I know that this delivery is not ideal.
  2. This internal battle then triggers my critical side of my personality.  I know this is not a lovely part of my personality. Yet, I can’t stop the thoughts fast enough.  “Is this really adding value?”, “Why don’t we cover x?”, etc So I try to re-focus them towards something productive (the next one).
  3. I’m constantly analyzing exercises.  What works about this exercise? What is not working? How could I adapt this exercise? Is there another concept that would work for this exercise? Now this is not necessarily bad but for me, I start to loose focus on participating in the exercise, which is a distraction to my teammates.  Also, do I really get the full impact of the exercise if I’m going meta immediately?
  4. It is no secret that I’m a talker. So I find it difficult to hear questions in the course and simply sit and listen. It’s not that I want to take over, I just want to participate.  I’m wired that way. Thus, I’m constantly writing or trying to distract myself slightly so I don’t over participate or become an unwanted second trainer.  This one I’m relatively good at checking but internally I’m feeling the struggle during the entire session.

As I write this all down, I feel embarrassed.  I can logically know that this may apply to others; but for me, I feel the contradiction in being an advocate for learning but not being a very good student.  Now I could argue, that I am a good student in the right environments but that feels like an excuse.  I am not sure what the balance is but I do take ownership in my mindset during the session matters.  I have no intention of lowering my standards of good training styles but I have to work on reducing my critical reactions to allow for maximum learning possible regardless of the environment.

What do you struggle with in training sessions?

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  4 comments for “Bad attendee

  1. John Miller
    August 27, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    I am the exact same way.

  2. August 28, 2017 at 11:27 am

    I find myself with the same split, observing the teaching techniques while trying to participate and learn!

  3. Anjali Leon
    August 28, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    They say doctors make the worst patients and I think something similar applies to trainers / facilitators – we make the worst trainees / participants. I had never noticed being restless as a participant in a class until I became an instructor. But I think it is a good thing – it has helped me develop more empathy.

  4. Becky Hartman
    August 28, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    Ditto! I would like to hear your input on the neuroscience tho.

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