My favourite Training Technique

14th August 2018

I love training. I’ve been training for 20+ years. My first training job started in the mid-90s, when I trained Chartered Accountants how to pass their professional exams – a touch different to what I do now!

Since then, I’ve trained in 40+ countries, working with some of the world’s largest and most famous companies. I’ve been voted Britain’s Trainer of the Year. And I’ve written books and countless articles on how to be a better trainer…

…and in all my years’ training, I have one Trainer Tip that I love more than any other one…

       Put delegates in pairs

And that’s it.

That deep insight, dear reader, is what 23 years’ experience gives you!

I love putting people in pairs for one simple reason: everyone joins in.

After all, if I monologue at them, no one joins in.

If I ask the group a question and only one person answers, everyone else watches us have a dialogue. And this might or might not be interesting.
But when I put everyone in pairs, everyone has to speak. After all, if Person #1 doesn’t, Person #2 has nobody to talk to.

And because pairs starts people talking, they tend to keep talking. So, after their work in pairs, when I ask people to shout out what they discussed, everyone volunteers more enthusiastically. And if a pair doesn’t answer, it’s less embarrassing for them if I ask them as a pair to share what they discussed, than if I had to single someone out – “Oi, Bob – what did you think?”

Like all my training techniques, I don’t use this one all the time. After all, variety’s essential. But I always rock it out 2-3 times every workshop. Because, every time I do it, everyone joins in. They contribute more. It is more lively. More energetic. More fun.

And, the more fun they have, the more they – and I – get out of it.

Action Point

Identify the next time you’re training a group. Look at your material – find the earliest time you can put people in pairs. Get them joining in then, and you’ve a great chance they’ll keep joining in all day…

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