The other week I was putting on a program for a good client of mine and I was really strutting my stuff. I had a right to! The client I was working for had asked that I put on a program that was as close to the real world as possible. This was a class of participants who had already gone through the basic process training so the need to get as close to real world situations was not just smart, it was imperative.
I created classic short case studies that this client often experiences with their clients along with the opportunity for multiple responses. Nice. The program went well, and at the end of the training session the client and participants were very pleased. Multiple people raised their hands to tell me how helpful the day had been.
Then one more hand went up. A rather timid voice said, “Excuse me Mr. Jolles, but if we are going to be examining real world scenarios, seeing as we are on the phone all day, and these conversations are recorded, why not just use our actual calls for a program like this?” I handled the question like a pro. I told her, “That’s an interesting idea. Let me think about it a bit.” In other words, I barely heard the suggestion because I was basking in the success of a program I just delivered, and could not hear anything that didn’t sound like a pat on the back.
Still, the suggestion did lodge somewhere in my brain because I couldn’t get it out of my head. It was such a simple idea. After all, what’s closer to the real world then, well, the real world? I had another client that was requesting a similar program and gave them a call. I ran the idea by them and they loved it! Within two days a CD full of taped conversations came in the mail. Two days later I had the tapes edited with audio tracks embedded into my PowerPoint presentation, along with exercises tracking these exercises placed into the client’s participant guide.
If you are in the profession of teaching others, there is no better teacher than actual real world scenarios. A close second might be listening to those who you are working with, as was the case in this situation. The week after next I’ll be putting this adjusted program on for the first time, and I’m betting the clients going to be very pleased. With close to thirty years of doing what I do, I’ll be listening attentively to what my audiences has to say when I finish. I plan on saving the, “basking in the success” part of the program for the plane ride home.