No, it’s true, I really have.
And after many years delivering training, too!
It finally dawned on me about groups of people and, more specifically, about groups of delegates.
Let me explain what happened to me. I’ve been running courses for many years… big ones, little ones, short ones, long ones, interactive, chalk and talk (not many of those), outward bound, classroom based.
You name it, I’ve delivered it.
With every course the boss of the company always asks: ‘How are you getting on?’ By which they actually mean ‘How is the group getting on?’
I take this question seriously and try to answer with solid feedback about each person in the group. You know the sort of thing: this person is going to be great, this person needs a lot of support, don’t worry about this person; they’ll never set the world on fire but they’ll be okay.
Last week it dawned on me that all courses, or groups of delegates, are the same.
Not the individuals within a group, but the groups themselves.
If there’s a group with star performer there’s always someone who sucks the life out of me… just to balance things up. But, on average, I feel good about the group… on average.
I was working in Ireland last week and the boss of the company I was working for asked the inevitable question: ‘How are you getting on?’ Except in an Irish accent.
When I thought about it, there were no stars in the group, but there were no disasters either. On average the group was fine and I was happy with the progress that was being made. I felt exactly the same on average as I did with the group from the week before which had a couple of stars and a couple of people who struggled.
So, when a trainer says ‘this is a good group’ I no longer believe them. Every group is the same.
What does this tell us, then?
Well, I’ve come to a few conclusions:
- I need to get out more
- I don’t think this theory can be true
A trainer can only train the people who are put front of him or her and each group and individual within the group deserves the trainer’s 100% support, feedback, time and effort.
After all, training is a professional discipline!