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Pawel Brodzinski on Software Project Management

How to Get Most Out of Trainings

How to Get Most Out of Trainings post image

I’ve just come back from leadership workshop. One interesting observation I made there is that, as trainees, we usually have much control over what we get out of trainings we attend.

I mean, it doesn’t really matter whether a training or a workshop or a conference or whatever is good or bad, we still can end up learning more or learning less. I don’t deny a simple fact that a better training is, um, better than a bad one. I’m not that dumb. You will definitely learn way more on the former than on the latter.

Anyway, no matter how good, or bad, training is you usually can suck more out of it. It actually is a lesson learned during crappy trainings I happened to attend. When in such situation you have a choice: you can either consider your time wasted or you can try to find these few (usually hidden) gems which are always there.

The only thing you need is right attitude:

  • If your attitude is negative, be aware of that and consciously work to change it into more positive.
  • If you see nothing valuable in what trainer shares, learn from the group, from their experience and their reactions.
  • If you don’t agree with what you hear, don’t be afraid to challenge trainer continuously, yet do it in a constructive way.
  • If a training itself doesn’t draw your attention, consciously keep yourself focused and observe what is happening around.
  • If you got bored, force yourself to become involved, even in defiance of yourself.
  • If you catch yourself distracting others, stop.
  • If you don’t like a trainer, get over it and focus on content.

With such attitude you will learn more than you would otherwise. With such attitude you will learn more than you expected. So do you prefer the let you time get wasted or you’re going to make some use out of it?

in: personal development

4 comments… add one

  • Piotr Leszczynski September 29, 2011, 7:53 am

    @Pawel I would add one thing to what you said and it applies to all of point you mentioned. If you find yourself in a mood that you look at anything in negative way learn about yourself, learn self-awarness. Look deeper, look inside you. Why have you put yourself in that position? Is it in any way valuable? What do you need to get out from there?
    When you find answers to those questions it will be easy to overcome the barriers, so you will not only learn something about yourself, but also change your mood and start drawing information.

  • Peter Z. September 29, 2011, 9:30 am

    We have a saying in Slovakia: “Bright student can learn even from stupid teacher”. I guess this holds also for training :) and you gave a perfect recipe how to do it. Like it.

  • Pawel Brodzinski September 29, 2011, 11:36 am

    @Piotr – That’s kind of short version of what I’ve tried to share here.

    By the way: once you learn this lesson, an interesting experience would be to actually attend a boring training. I wonder how much your attitude would be different. I guess we never know…

  • Pawel Brodzinski September 29, 2011, 11:39 am

    @Peter – Yes, exactly! One of best role models in my very first company was one of our sales directors. He was everything I didn’t want to become. I am totally grateful that I had a chance to work with him and learn what I didn’t want to be. It actually was a great lesson, although the one which required more perception and specific attitude.

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