I confess that I have a hard time with lectures. Seminars and conference sessions are ok, but maybe 1 in 5 keeps me engaged long enough to actually learn something useful. I find that when I sit down and be still and quiet, even though there is someone talking and supposedly teaching in the front of the room, my mind drifts away quickly and to far away places where it can get some things done!
Another takeaway (#3!) from Quench forum and sales training for young reps last week was that the “training” component kept even me engaged the whole time. It was just as engaging as if I was in conversation with each of the trainers. This happened mostly on purpose. I know that sales people are like entrepreneurs– full of energy, ideas, and constant mental engagement. Big seminars and lecture based programs won’t work for them. We won’t actually learn anything in those programs. If we are truly self-aware, then we know that about ourselves and won’t waste our time and money in many seminars (and boring webinars too, by the way) because we know it’s hard for us to gleam real learning from those formats.
I believe the reason the Quench training received such high marks is because it was delivered into the small group forum format. We spent an entire day talking on the same level, at the same table, as peers. We first bonded and learned about each other. We became friends and allies in a big way first. We became a family. Then, when someone joins our group who happens to be a trainer, and starts teaching us, we learned. We really learned. They weren’t just giving a seminar, they were sitting at our family table. When you are sitting at your family table, you don’t disengage, your mind doesn’t wonder. You don’t start writing e-mails, txting, and checking for new leads. You are present. Engaged. Ready to learn.
That’s what I believe happened last week, and I believe it will happen again and again.
If you have a Forum, and you believe there are areas in life that you could use help from trainers (hopefully you do!), consider inviting trainers, teachers, experts into your forum. Bring them into your family, because that is the place you are most likely to learn in a big way from them.