3.6 Skill transfer exercise
Time required:30-45 minutes
This exercise is to help participants transfer the learning
experiences of the workshop into their real-world activities as elected
officials. The focus of this exercise is on raising expectations, engaging in
realistic planning, and making personal commitments. Most of the work is done on
a personal basis with some interpersonal sharing.
Between knowing and doing there is a wide chasm.
It is generally agreed that the purpose of training is to
improve the way people do things by showing them a better way.
In fact, the success of a training experience can be measured
by the amount of personal growth and change that takes place both during
training and after the training is over.
Training rarely has the impact on workshop participants that
trainers hope it will have, particularly after an exposure of only a few hours.
The exhilaration of the moment fades quickly when the trainee is confronted with
old work habits and of work associates who have not shared the training
On the other hand, commitments to learning and change made at
the close of a workshop can help participants overcome learning resistance in
themselves and in the work environment. A trainer can help learners make a
successful transition from the world of learning to the world of doing through a
few simple planning exercises. Think about it this way. The time taken to
encourage learning transfer could be the difference between a brief exposure to
some interesting ideas and a life-changing experience.
Spend at least half an hour at the end of the workshop to
focus the attention of participants on important learnings and encourage them to
continue experimenting with these learnings in their council activities. Begin
by giving participants about 15 minutes to work independently on a simple
learning transfer questionnaire.
When participants have completed the questionnaire, ask them
to share quickly with the group two or three things they intend to do
differently in their council roles as decision-makers to close the workshop.
Take a few minutes to reflect on the role of the
decision-maker, the new ideas you encountered in this workshop, and how you feel
about them. Then, in the space below, write a sentence or two to describe
something interesting you have learned about yourself during this workshop.
Based on what you have learned about yourself and the many
possibilities for change presented by this workshop, what two or three things do
you intend to do differently in your council role as decision-maker?
Finally, what obstacles in yourself or in your work
environment do you expect to experience during your efforts to implement these
changes? What will you do to remove or minimize these obstacles?
Action to remove the obstacle
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If you can learn it, you can do it