“Brilliant, practical way of building a training course”…. The “Training for Trainers course was very helpful in learning the do’s and don’t as well as how to design a programme incorporating all learning styles.”…. “Duncan’s course is well-structured and inclusive of different professions (not always a given!”

This week I’ve been training 8 trainers on the Training for Trainers course I do with EVOC. The trainers were all from different types of organisations doing a range of training from trauma courses to legal courses. Collectively their training courses reaches into most areas of the world that i care about deeply, work that is improving social justice because staff and volunteers are getting properly trained.

Which means I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the importance of learning to learn. When we learn, we breath better, we grow, we love our work a bit more. Yet so often the learning provision, the training courses and the context of our busy busy busy organisations don’t give us permission to take time to learn… Or that’s what we tell ourselves, and thats why we put up with poor learning provision in organisations. Some of the CEO’s that i work with as a coach get frustrated with this. Many of the staff and volunteers i work with are a bit de-moralised by the sense of having to not just do more for less, but actually not being adequately supported in the process.

We do all learn differently, and if you haven’t done a recent Learning Styles Questionnaire then i recommend you do. Because actually getting to know you learning styles is a really important part of learning how to pick the best routes for your own professional learning. Many people don’t learn much from talks and presentations. Many people only learn from books and presentations. video link to social conformity and learning styles

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I recommend you look for the work of Kolb plus Peter Honey and Alan Mumford on Learning Styles to dig a bit deeper than the surface on understanding how you or others learn best.

Yet there is a hilarious and challenging other aspect to all this which is the factor of Social Conformity. If you haven’t studied behavioural science, then have a look at this simple science experiment from the National Geographic folk. Even the experienced trainers i was working with this week were shocked at how quickly social conformity in all types of groups becomes a major asset or deficit in learning.

Which is very much why i tend to use the Juggling Together activity to illustrate the ability of teams, systems and organisations to learn and handle pressure well. Within 5 minutes i got those people juggling 50% more things than they thought they were capable of. 5 minutes of coaching and the group becomes stronger and more capable. We live in a world that wants more for less, driven by efficiency. Yet efficiency cannot be achieved without learning systems. Co-creating learning systems and co-creating learning organisations is one of the core capacities that i build. I’ve been an Organisational Development practitioner for 20 years now, and the key thing is always to learn, to capacity build. To develop the capacity of the community. It is a form of community development. This is important because culture always eats strategy for breakfast, as Peter Druker is famous for pointing out.

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If you would like to learn more about all this, or better still, invite me to come in to your organisation and review with you your learning culture, then that would be a total pleasure.

My experience is that organisations, businesses and governments that don’t enjoy learning together, don’t progress, are not efficient and create more inequalities or climate change without realising it. I can help you reverse this.

“The course was very useful in writing and evaluating training”

I also love co-training, co-consulting alongside internal leaders and of course i have a lot of fun training folk too. My next training for trainers course is with SCVO at the beginning of June, its at an introductory level, which is always good fun.