Reflecting on Learning

Sometimes we learn some really useful stuff when we least expect it!

Over the past week, I’ve attended 3 very different organised learning events, all unrelated with different audiences. The biggest take away for me, it put me in the seat of the learner, as someone who runs sessions, events and training, this was invaluable.  It wasn’t something I was planning and I really wasn’t thinking I would be reflecting on me and my style.

All three were predominantly presentation in style, one was a full day it really shouldn’t have been dominated by presentation, the other two were much shorter and presentation was completely appropriate (particularly one delivering to over 150 people).

Two of the sessions, I came away feeling like I had learnt something new, the information was important to me and I wanted to learn more. Interestingly I initially left the first session feeling negative about it, feeling the session hadn’t been successful, on further discussion and reflection I got it! The session had absolutely been successful, it had educated me and left me with a thirst for more knowledge.

I realised in one of the sessions that as a learner I found the horse shoe style tables really uncomfortable (I’ve always used this and will be rethinking it going forward). When asked to get into small groups we didn’t know which way to turn, which group to join, particularly as a group of strangers, lack of space meant moving chairs was difficult, making conversation uncomfortable.

I also found the lack of introductions (as we really were a group of strangers) made entering into discussions challenging, the importance of “breaking the ice” was strongly reinforced to me.

I found in one session I was slightly alienated by the presenter at the beginning, he presented a view of the audience’s existing knowledge, a view that may have fit some of the audience but didn’t fit me. Right from the start I felt I was at the wrong presentation, I will accept it was turned around and they did very successfully manage to re-engage me.  Reminder to self, don’t assume, don’t say it out loud, but also one mistake doesn’t mean I should give up and go home!

I liked the feeling that I had learnt something, the information was important to me and I wanted to learn more. This is something I want those who attend my sessions to feel, my next steps to work out how I work a session to leave people with this feeling and see this as a positive.

It wasn’t the learning that I expected (I did learn some of that stuff too) but it will change how I approach presentations and training going forward!

Any thoughts on my reflections or your own, please comment below….

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