Turkey Dinner

The days are getting shorter…

The leaves have fallen from the trees…

The air has a bit of a nip in it…

Thanksgiving Day approaches.

While some people are feeling festive, many businesses are getting quite serious as Black Friday approaches.

What will their year look like: will they make it or break it?

It’s time to get serious and “Talk Turkey” about training.

It can’t be ALL fun and games ALL of the time.


Ultimately, you, as a trainer, are paid to get results: either enabling a culture change or training your audience with new knowledge or a new skill. Although exercises and games can be fun and may increase your popularity with students, the sponsor of your program is paying you and THEY WANT RESULTS.

Beware that those fun exercises (especially for soft skills training or team building) may sidetrack or hijack your training.

Debriefing the exercise is PARAMOUNT. Take the time, involve your audience: What did they learn? What does that illustrate? How can they apply that knowledge back on the job?  Yes, you could save time and explain to them what the exercise illustrates… But that may not ensure they ‘get it’ and can relate the lesson to their ‘world’. (For more on being audience driven see this blog post.)

I know, this sounds a bit like parenting: “What did you learn? Why? What will you do differently next time?” BUT many trainers don’t take the time to reflect on exercises, activities and games… perhaps that is because they are driven by the ‘happy sheets’/feedback ratings at the end of the session instead of the real driver behind the training: getting to results.


When designing a program, you start with the objectives. (What will be the result of your program/session? What will attendees walk away with upon completion?) From there you can measure and evaluate how well your program addresses those objectives (and ultimately impress your sponsor with your success.) [For more on interpretting training feedback, download the Strategic Feedback System whitepaper available in the box on the right-hand side of this page. I will be removing that download very shortly. So download it now and let me know what you think.]

However, what happens if your ultimate objective is something you can’t achieve with training alone? What if your program is  reliant on some outside event, equipment, activity or stimulus?

Why do I bring this up? Supporting culture change is challenging. There is a difference between what you can impact as a trainer and what needs additional measures to be successful. An understanding of culture change may help you be more consultative which may impact your sponsor’s success. For an over of culture change and the critical success factors, consult my most popular (and talked about) blog post: “What Trainers Need to Know about Culture Change.


“At the end of the day”, focus on what you can impact, relate your training to the ‘world’ of your audience and thank them for their attention and participation. Remember you are a ‘guest’ in their world.

And this week be thankful for friends & family, health, happiness

and all the little things that we take for granted.

It can all be taken away in an instant.


Thanks for reading… Have a blessed and happy Thanksgiving.  Gobble, gobble! 🙂


Flickr Creative Commons Image by grapesmc