Do you want to teach or do you want them to learn?

Why Continuous Lifelong Learning important?

The ever-evolving technology that characterises the age of information poses many challenges on the working landscape for many adults. Our predecessors used to be able to learn and use a skill for life. But today, the business landscape no longer allows us to do so. Organisations are constantly searching for the latest technologies and tools to push their businesses and profits ahead. Unfortunately, if we cannot keep up, we risk being redundant and replaced.

With today’s increasing globalisation, rapidly evolving technologies, and skills obsolescence, individuals of all ages must maximise their ability to learn. The ability to learn and keep up with the latest advancement in technologies, processes and methodologies has become a foundation for employability.

“In times of change, learners inherit the earth; while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists— Eric Hoffer”

Individuals without the ability and desire to learn are becoming obsolete in the workforce. Organisations have begun to put the ability to learn as a desirable skill of employees. Increasingly, we see companies offering incentives to individuals, such as funding higher education and training, for those who desire to learn more. It is almost impossible to advance without the ability to learn and stay ahead of the constantly evolving landscape.

Since learning is critical, it is equally important to find a trainer who is able to skills transfer effectively so that the learner is able to apply his new competencies confidently at work.

What is Facilitative Training?

How do we distinguish presentation, training and facilitation?

We observed that many people are using the term presentation, training and facilitation interchangeably. To us, there is a marked difference in each of these actions. Although these actions are associated with teaching, each term creates different expectation for the recipient. For instance:

  1. Presentation is the act of showing, describing, and explaining ideas or methods to a group of people with a focus on content meant to inform or inspire.
  2. Training is the act of teaching people specific skills and focuses on content and the processes necessary to carry out and develop the skills.
  3. Facilitation is the act intended to help other people discuss and/or reach agreements without the facilitator contributing content to the discussion.

Learning is important in today’s workforce, so is the need for effective training. Facilitative training is increasingly being used in today’s training. Facilitative training enables people to engage constructively with one another. It puts equal responsibility for learning on the learners and the trainer.

What is the difference between facilitative training and traditional methods?

Facilitative training differs from traditional training methods because the responsibility for learning is equally placed on the group. Traditional training is more akin to teaching, or presenting, where content is disseminated from the trainer. The skills and information presented, and the focus of the session is on the trainer. For facilitative training, the group is dependent on the trainer for directions and learning process.

What are the characteristics of adult learners?

Facilitative training or participatory training better suits the characteristics of adult learners because adult learning is an emotional experience that often creates anxiety, stress and frustration. By facilitating and engaging adults during training, learning is reinforced. When a group succeeds in an activity, their satisfaction will motivate them to be more involved. Adults tend to develop their creativity and insights when working with others to identify and solve problems. By working together with others to learn, they will feel more encouraged and less apprehensive to get involved. Since adults tend to learn better in such active and participation-focused atmosphere, participatory training suits adult learning better.


There are several methods for teaching and training, both participatory and passive, that a learner can engage in. These methods allow individuals to learn content with varying degree of retention. Active participation in the learning process results in higher retention rates and teaching others is the most effective way to retain new content. This suggests that the most effective way to promote successful training is to adopt a facilitative approach.

What are the tips and best practices for facilitative training?

Start with the strategy to inform, excite, empower and involve.

Inform
It is very important to inform and establish expectations to ensure the success of facilitative training. Participants choose to receive information in certain ways, and if their expectations are not aligned with the session, they tend not to retain the information or engage. It is important to inform the participants of the training purpose. Doing so will align the expectations of the group and the facilitative trainer.
Excite
Exciting the participants encourages them to participate and be engaged. Exciting participants about the benefits of the training will encourage them to be more receptive to the session and its activities. Giving the audience the “so-what” factor will help to keep them energised and active from start to finish.
Empower
Empowering participants by discussing their importance and authority is important, during the session and post-session. Facilitative trainer will help the participants understand that they play a major role in the success of their own learning by participating, since facilitative training puts the emphasis on the learners. Also, the facilitative trainer will let them discover that by the end of the training, they will achieve what they came for (i.e. their learning objectives). Doing so will make them active learners.
Involve
Involving participants, and keeping them involved, is one of the most important factors in facilitative training. They need to be involved to learn. Participants’ communication styles will likely vary, along with their quantity of verbal contribution. As a facilitative trainer, it is important to draw out the quiet participants, while managing the involvement of the more vocal ones. There should always be a balance of participation with equal involvement from the more vocal to the quieter ones.

What are the benefits and advantages of Facilitative Training

There are several advantages to facilitative training, the most important being the rate of retention among the participants. The end goal of any training or learning session is for every person involved to learn and fully grasp the lesson or skills being taught. As shown from the Learning Pyramid, the highest retention rates are from more active and engaged types of training and teaching methods.

Participatory learning brings forth creativity as the facilitative trainer allows participants to recognise their strengths and work together as a group. It also helps to shift thinking from a task-oriented view, to a results-driven way of thinking. By facilitating an issue, and directing the group, the facilitative trainer allows participants to learn the skills in ways which suit them the best.

Conclusion

The constant changes and developments at the workplace had created a need for efficient and effective training. Studies suggest that participants, and mostly adults, learn and retain content better when they are actively involved through non-passive formats. It is important that trainers can teach new skills in ways that encourage the participants and promote learning retention. Facilitative training helps to achieve this much better than traditional methods for today’s adults and workforce.

How can I become a facilitative trainer?

Thank you for taking an important first step to uncover the potential of facilitative training by reading our article. To personalise the benefits of facilitative training, how about taking the action to learn how you can conduct facilitative training effectively?

“You will either step forward into growth or you will step back into safety.”
~ Abraham Maslow

Transform your teaching and training by learning strategies, tools and techniques to redesign what you train or teach into interesting, interactive and engaging learning experiences for your learners. Check out the “Facilitation in Training™ FiT™” workshop for in-company trainers by the Facilitators Network Singapore.

What will you learn in FiT™? See the outline below.

For more information, enquiries and registration, please email: admin@fns.sg