Training on leadership and methodology in the form of face-to-face training had started to recover slowly. And now it’s over again. I had led exactly one! But the incidence values are rising one again! I am vaccinated for the third time myself, but that doesn’t help much with twelve or sixteen participants. So: Virtual training is the order of the day!
Flip charts and partition walls can simply no longer be used, but help is near! I’m not in favor of just putting a flip chart in the trainer’s room. Rather, it’s about using the virtual whiteboard to draw, as spontaneously as a flip. Participants can also write cards for the partition wall at the same time: as sticky notes on Conceptboard. Trainers feel a tendency to show as many tools as possible. But be careful: Tools must not be used for their own sake or because the trainer has fun with them. They have to remain a means, not an end.
In any case, I am not a fan of designs based on the motto “send three groups into their rooms, let them work out something and present to the plenary”, in the worst case on the same topic. And that in endless repetition. Virtual training makes this all the more sluggish. A mix of methods throughout the day is not only useful here, it is necessary.
Face-to-face training “before COVID”. I’ve lost weight drastically since then.
Preparing and leading training courses has always been easy for me. So I always packed a moderator’s case, an extra box with pens and a bag in which I have, well, everything I need with me. I thus have a second power supply for the PC, a mouse, a loudspeaker to “shower” large rooms and a Jabra … And all the utensils for my favorite exercises. But that’s all yesterday’s news; virtual training makes all of this obsolete.
Rather, I’ve learned something: I can’t rely on old routines. Actually, I like to do a coin sociogram to represent power and social closeness. This did not work virtually once, as a participant could not point the camera at his sociogram. I just memorized the coins and was able to proceed. Ultimately, (almost) all methods can be used in the virtual world, but clearly they have to be adapted!
The Marshmallow Challenge as well as the well-known tower building exercise actually encourage more personal closeness. Forget them! I also had to adapt the early morning wake up exercises in the plenary, which require some physical exertion and closeness the normal way, as well as group dynamic exercises. Breakout sessions, as we know them at least since MS Teams and Zoom, too. I had often had such groups work in the corners of the plenary room. But under COVID-19 conditions, the participants automatically grouped around large tables and kept the distance there! At least this problem is now finally off the table: the participants automatically keep their distance in the literal sense of the word!
Face-to-face training will only happen much later and by and by. Planning them remains difficult and volatile: we are not yet through the fourth wave, and regional hotspots can arise, as can (the influxInzidenz of) mutants. We will always have to plan the virtual version at the same time as we design trainings (and workshops) for a long time to come! So let’s continue to hope for declining rates soon – we cannot assume them.
A training session that has just been canceled has been rescheduled – for May 2022!