My prediction is the learning and development world will look much different going forward – and it doesn’t take much of a crystal ball to make that prediction. As facilitators it may be harder for us to get our heads and hearts around the changes than it is for our learners. But as my yoga teacher said recently about continuing to live stream classes even after the studio is fully reopened: “The genie is out of the bottle…”
We need to consider that perhaps the desire for live classroom training is more about the needs we have as facilitators than it is about the needs of learners. I have previously shared results from research done by Wiley Workplace Solutions that found learners rated classroom training only slightly more effective than live virtual training.
Prior to the pandemic the so called “soft skills” that are so darn hard to do were among the last holdouts for live classroom training. I believe the pandemic has changed that. We have seen that we can do things effectively virtually that we never would have even tried had we not been forced into it.
While I believe there is a downside to this and I hope to be back in the classroom doing live training sooner rather than later, I also believe that the greater acceptance of virtual training offers tremendous opportunities – especially for blended programs – if we as facilitators are willing to embrace it.
The Upside to Virtual
I have always believed (and research supports) that shorter blocks of learning over a longer period is more effective. However, with live classroom training this has not been practical. Often the participants, the facilitator, or both had to travel making multiple sessions impractical.
A reduction in travel costs will hopefully mean more of the talent development budget can go toward actually developing talent.
With more focus on blended programs that include live virtual training, live classroom training or both, as well as self-directed learning, facilitators can impact a greater portion of the employee population.
Managers can be empowered to carry the training that is started in live classroom or virtual sessions forward and to incorporate it into their regular team meetings.
Perhaps most importantly, the impact on the organization and culture can be greater because the learning can be more effectively generalized into everyday work.
What does this mean for Everything DiSC® facilitators?
First it means we must embrace the virtual environment and continuously develop our skills as virtual facilitators, just as we have honed them for the classroom.
We must identify and use the technology that is available to build connections with and among participants in a way that replicates the classroom to the extent possible. Video platforms that have functionality like breakout rooms helps with this, as do software programs such as Trello.com, Mural.co and MindMeister.com that support flip charting, brainstorming, and collaborating in a virtual environment.
We must get comfortable with and help participants get comfortable with turning on their cameras. By stopping screen share periodically everyone has an opportunity to see each other and interact more directly. Participant interactions and conversations are critical to the virtual learning experience just like they are to the classroom experience.
Current programs must be converted to a virtual or blended format in a way that they have even more impact than they currently do. We need to capitalize on the upside of virtual to support our organizations and colleagues as we rebound from the pandemic.
To help move us toward that goal, Wiley has developed virtual facilitation options for Everything DiSC Workplace and Agile EQ, as well as for The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team programs. If would like access to these virtual materials please reach out.
In addition, Wiley is introducing a totally new Everything DiSC experience – Catalyst™. Catalyst is a platform that integrates assessment completion, profile results and comparison reports in one online location to create a seamless experience throughout the Everything DiSC learning journey.
Everything DiSC Workplace on Catalyst pilot will be launching later this month.
Future plans include the introduction of additional solutions on the Catalyst platform including Everything DiSC Agile EQ, Productive Conflict, and Management. To support a seamless experience, learners will only need to take one assessment. Content from the various programs can then be “unlocked” at later times as part of the learning journey.
You can download a brochure to learn more about Everything DiSC Workplace on Catalyst. I will be reaching out to provide you with additional information about Catalyst and a limited time opportunity to convert anyone who has taken an Everything DiSC Workplace profile to Catalyst at no cost.
TAGGED : disc, Everything DiSC®, virtual facilitation