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From the Road

From the Road: Do You Know Where Your Participants Are?

ABOUT THE EXPERT
Steve WillisSteve Willis is a Master Trainer and Vice President of Professional Services at VitalSmarts.
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From the Road

I spent last week in the classroom—the back of the classroom. No, it wasn’t for misbehaving. I observed a couple of our certified trainers deliver training. I don’t get to do this very often, so I wondered how this experience would compare to the view from the front of the class. I prepared for what I thought I should expect and settled in for a two-day experience. Yet nothing I did prepared me for the end of the class.

The trainer had wrapped up, answered questions, and closed on a high. I was turning my attention to something else when I heard the unthinkable. He said, “I really enjoyed having you here for the last two days and hope you learned some new skills and approaches.” Now hang on, because while I have heard this last part many times, it was this next part that really caught my attention. “I’ll be coming around your work area this next week and will stop in to see how you’re doing with your skills and answer any questions you might have.”

Wow! What a novel idea! What difference would it make to be able to re-connect with the participants? Coach them? Encourage and praise them? Help them apply their skills to the situations and circumstances that are most pressing? So here’s my question for you: Do you know what happens to your participants once they leave the class?

Share your thoughts below.

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Steve Willis

As one of the original trainers at VitalSmarts, Steve has been on the forefront of developing award-winning training programs, perfecting quality training platforms, and delivering training content that has influenced more than 500,000 people to date. In addition, Steve has trained and certified thousands of employees, managers, and trainers from Fortune 500 companies across the nation. read more

7 thoughts on “From the Road: Do You Know Where Your Participants Are?”

  1. Always follow-up, it’s key to successful action following any training. I always also send out an Influencer “refresher” document a bout a month after training – just a reminder of the questions to ask and the strategies for the 6 sources. Feedback is always positive!

  2. Hello All- here in Switzerland, we do not often have the opportunity to return on site and check in with participants. However, we do offer as an options to our clients post-training coaching (in person or by phone) and lunch hour workshops for participants to check-in and discuss any concerns, experiences, feedback etc.

  3. I have had the good fortune to reconnect with many of my Crucial Conversations participants at work and many have told me success stories that have come about from applying the skills. The skill participants have most often cited as particularly helpful has been the use of contrasting statements. I’ve also been asked to have follow up classes to help them refine their understanding of certain concepts. Others have emailed me to let me know they are doing their best to apply the skills at work and in their personal lives. One participant told me her kids and husband were blown away by the change in her conversations with them as in the past she had been quite controlling and now she invites dialogue. Applying Crucial Conversations skills can truly be life altering!

  4. What an incredible insight! Once again Steve Willis delivers a Masterpiece! Truly we are in the presence of greatness!!!

  5. Having led Crucial Conversations training since 2009, then thinking of Influencer I could see that I could do more. I began following up with class participants in the later half of 2011. It has been very good. I have learned of the individual’s success in holding their Acid Test conversation and have been able to provide in the game coaching. This has been very rewarding.

  6. One of things we’re finding in our research is that who does the following up also makes a big difference. If you can get the learner’s boss to follow up with the individual it tends to produce better, and more lasting results. Especially if the boss helps the individual link the learning to current business objectives.

  7. My wifeand I just taught Crucial Confrontations class to our local rescue mission who recently moved from a approx 2,000 ft facilility to a 15,000 ft approx. 3 story building.Wow! Talk about room for conflict. They also had the leaders from a large women’s facility join. They loved it! Your many webinars and trainings and others were very helpful.
    We are trying to work out a good follow up plan. We are looking forward to going to the Reach Conference this year.
    This was our third time going through the course.
    Once again, Thank you so much to all the fine folks at Vital Smarts.

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