I’m sure that we’ve all been to seminars and workshops when you’ve reflected a couple of weeks later and realised that nothing’s changed.  The experience was a good one, the facilitators and presenters were excellent, you took notes and thought that you had learned something, but in the end, you went back to doing things the same old way.

I recently had the great privilege of sitting in a 5 hour workshop that was facilitated by the excellent Buck Rogers from Church Resource Ministries (CRM).

In this workshop, while Buck was facilitating he was also giving some excellent tips on how to facilitate similar workshops and one of his best tips was how to set up a personal plan so that attenders walk away with something tangible that they can action.

Priorities (to set):  A great question that Buck asked us all was, “what must I accomplish in the next 12 months?”

Having the answer to this question in mind when returning to normality after a seminar is important as you set out to prioritise your time and efforts towards doing great work.  Make changes to your diary if you need to.

Puzzles (to solve):  There’s little point in going to a seminar if you’re not going to learn new things that can assist you in your role.  Remember, we live in the Knowledge Age, so keeping your mind fresh and constantly developing your intellect to solve complex problems is a key to your future success.  As such, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is there an issue at work that you’ve been struggling with for a while?  Are you better equipped to tackle it now?
  •  How are you going to use your new information to improve your standard of work?

People (to focus on):  The important step here is to gain an understanding of who you need to speak with as a consequence of the seminar that you’ve just attended.  Is there anything that you need to share with your boss, your peers or your people?  Does your spouse need to hear about what you’ve learned? 

Remember, the best way to learn is to teach, so finding someone to pass on knowledge to after the workshop will really help to consolidate the skills that you’ve recently acquired.

Plans (to accomplish):  The important focus here is to come up with some actions that you can take in the next week, preferably, the next 24 hours.  Write them down, share them with someone else and start taking action immediately.

Sometimes, we can become cynical about new learning opportunities like workshops because we have been unable to transfer your new knowledge into action.  I hope that these ideas from Buck will assist us all in ensuring that we receive the full benefits of our valuable training time.

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