When reading John Hunt’s excellent book “the art of the idea”, I picked up what I think is a useful idea for us training facilitators that I want to share with you.
If the training room doubles up as a general meeting room don’t ignore what training programme participants might feel about that room. To them it might mean hours of boring meetings. Maybe it is the same room where last week they were informed about impending retrenchments. This will in all likelihood directly affect their attitude when coming to our workshops if situated in the same room. What can we do about this? According to Hunt the first prize is to change the room. If possible go to somewhere which it is at least neutral but better if it is a positive energizing environment. Second prize is as he puts it, “if you can’t change the room, change the room”! Do whatever possible to make the room look, feel or sound different. Hunt suggests some ways of doing this as playing music at the start (I know from firsthand experience that this definitely works) and/or turning pictures upside down and see if anyone notices. Some that I have used are moving the tables and chairs around from the normal design and (in desperate situations!) asking everyone to “park” their shoes at the door! What do you suggest?