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How to Train Groups: The Stages of Group Development

Are you a new trainer? Does the idea of training a large group bring you out in a cold sweat? Is even picturing them naked just not helping to calm your nerves?

Well sweat no more and banish those nudes from your mind. There's a simple way to face groups and deal with the various challenges they may offer.

All it takes is an understanding of the dynamics of group development. Once you know how groups of people function and develop, it becomes simple to deal with them and simple to teach them.

We explore the subject of group development in depth on our Brighton-based Train the Trainer Course, which is the ideal course for those new to training looking to build their knowledge and confidence in the discipline.

So when facing groups in training, what you need to remember is that all groups will go through four stages of development. Here, I'll outline what those stages are and how best to deal with them from a trainer's perspective.

userAndy Trainer

date1 Nov 2013

Train the Trainer Tips - What Makes a Great Trainer

We offer a great 1-day train the trainer course on which you will learn how to deliver effective, rewarding training sessions.

Train the Trainer - Getting it Right

There are many great Train the Trainer resources out there that tell you what you need to do to be a great trainer. Learning from your mistakes is one piece of advice you may have read, but how many resources tell you what mistakes there are to be made before you make them, or help trainers to do things differently? Read our 8 top tips for being a great trainer...

What a great trainer should avoid:

  1. Too little planning. You may not be given the necessary information about the delegates before a course; it's no good blaming the provider. If you want information, send them a question sheet (not too long) to find out what your delegates need. If this fails for any reason make sure you have the right questions ready to ask your learners in your intro time. Also if this is the case you should have material prepared for the more able students in case the group is very mixed in ability.
  2. Do not lecture. Let’s have that one again DO NOT LECTURE, this is the least effective teaching style on the planet. PowerPoint comes in close second!
  3. Do not forget that your delegates should always be participants in the learning process. Make your delegates DO, make them ASK, make them TALK.
  4. Do not put on a video. A very short excerpt might be apt or entertaining. While videos can be well done and helpful learning tools, delegates need to ask question, think for themselves and develop solutions to their problems.
  5. Do not fail to make sure that the training we're presenting is clearly related to the problems our participants face. Do some homework, what is their organisation like? What do they do? What do they want to be able to do at the end of the training that they couldn't do before?
  6. Too much theory. Relevant practise is what learners need. You need to find real examples to use, things that your delegates can relate to. This could take some research but the more prepared you are the more relevant your training becomes.
  7. Do not forget to help delegates relate the subject to their jobs. As trainers we may be making the assumption that our participants will connect classroom learning to their work, however trainers should help delegates to make the connections as part of their training. What you teach or facilitate must be explicitly connected to work problems if you expect transfer of learning to take place.
  8. Don't make excuses when you get bad feedback. Trainers can learn too, don't take criticism badly use it to learn.

userAndy Trainer

date5 Oct 2009

Training the Trainer

Summer sun floods the warm room and dust motes dance in my blurring vision. The lunchtime ‘pie and a pint’ sit comfortably in my stomach and the final straw is the hypnotic buzzing noise encouraging my heavy eyelids to close and calling me to the comfort of the Land of Nod. Suddenly, sanity returns, my eyelids jerk open and my head snaps upright.

As I look around me, I see an almost universal appraisal of the lecturer in the form of drooping heads and, in at least two cases, total oblivion. And we all have an examination in this topic in just a few weeks!

The great shame of this all is that the guy at the front of the room is a world expert in his subject … but he’s the source of the buzzing. He’s written several renowned textbooks on the subject … we’re all well aware of this because it is almost a prerequisite of passing the course that every student buys them all. Surprisingly, this is not resented by my fellows because sitting for hours poring over the dry text is preferable to listening the esteemed professor reciting, almost word for word, what is on the page.

You could come and be entertained at Silicon Beach Training in Brighton on our Train the Trainer course, we practise what we preach.

userJohn A G Smith

date17 May 2016

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