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Archive for facilitation

Here’s why your small group exercises don’t work–and what to do about it.

(See my 12-point checklist to use every time you’re going to launch a group exercise. You’ll find this invaluable!)

You’re teaching, and you’ve decided to change it up and add a small group exercise–instead of that boring lecturing. So, you blithely put people into small groups. But, things go wrong:

  1. They wander around without knowing where to go to get into their groups
  2. They cluster together in groups of 10-15 so no one gets anything done
  3. They don’t know how to proceed as they as supposed to start the exercise
  4. They don’t know what the exercise is
  5. They don’t know what to do when the exercise is over

And on and on…..

This month, I’m doing blogs on teaching–specifically, how to change it up and quit lecturing your way through the day.

So, in this series, I’ll help you build in ‘relief’ from that awful, boring lecture and change it up to keep your audience interested and learning.

The Alternative: Divide and Conquer

In the previous blog, we explored the ‘divide and conquer’ method of teaching. One of the configurations of the ‘divide and conquer’ is the task force: Small groups of people working on a common problem. In this blog, I’ll show you a few things to do with that task force to assure it goes right. Most of these principles would also apply to dividing people into groups, too, for role play and other small groups.

The Checklist for Assuring Every Small Group Goes the Way You Want 

See my 12-point checklist to use every time you’re going to launch a group exercise. You’ll find this invaluable! How do I know? I’ve made every mistake you can make on these, and have learned how to avoid mistakes and make the small group go well.

Gain Advanced Teaching Skills Now!

Come join me to put these creative, fun teaching methods into your course. Attend Beyond the Basics: Advanced Skills to Make that Course Come Alive, coming up April 23-24 (approved for 7.5 clock hours in Washington state). We’ll be working with parts of a course you bring. We’ll put in some great methods and then practice to see how they work–a unique opportunity!

training your success Trainers: Wouldn’t you love to know how to get paid MORE for the great information and training you provide?

This month, I’m focusing on training. Why? Because you’re hiring good potential, but you need a plan to develop that potential. And, that development comes through training and coaching.

Adults are Enigmatic Animals

Do you sometimes have trouble figuring out the level of expertise of a particular audience? Do you have some students say, a�?That was too basic.a�? Do you wonder how your audience likes to learn? In other wordsa��are you in the dark about your audience background and preferences? If so, you don’t know how to ‘hit the bull’s eye’ in the classroom.

Problem Solved

You can solve many of your instructional problems simply by using a pre-conference survey.

Adults Have Learning Diversities

Children are so much easier to teach than adults. Children are relatively a�?clean slatesa��. They dona��t know so much (and dona��t know things incorrectly), and theya��re eager to learn. Adults, on the other hand, come into the classroom with some terrific learning, skillsa��and a lot of a�?missed learninga�� and baggage. To teach effectively, you must find out everything about your audience before you get in front of them.

A Lab on Finding Out Who These Students Are

Twice a year, I teach my Instructor Development Workshop in this area (Bellevue, Washington). Ia��ve done this for lots of years. Ita��s very challenging to teach, because these adults come into class with so many widely varying experiences about training. To teach them effectively, I need to know as much as possible about them before class starts.

What I Want to Learn About My Students

To prepare to teach Instructor Development, I always ask participants to answer a pre-conference survey. Here are some of the questions I ask:

  1. Have you had any formal training? Please explain.
  2. What do you want to accomplish?
  3. What do you want your students to be able to do?
  4. What are your favorite teaching methods?
  5. How do you like to learn in a classroom?

Trainers: Take this list right now and customize it for your course.

Can you guess why I ask these questions? I need to know

  • Their relative backgrounds, so I know the range of the students
  • What they want from the class, so I know their expectations (and lack of expectations!)
  • If they expect their students to change behavior as a result of the classa��or if they just want students to learn a�?neat stuffa��
  • How they like (and what they depend on) to teacha��so I know their skill sets
  • Their favorite learning method, so I can include it in my teaching

What I Learn from Those Who Dona��t Complete the Survey

Thata��s pretty obvious, isna��t it? In my Instructor Development course, I ask students why they think I did the survey, and what it tells me. We then discuss how to use surveys in various situations to gather information about those adult learners. I know if a student doesn’t complete the survey, they don’t find value. They may be hard to teach. Or, they were just plain too busy or distracted.

Raising the Level of Your Coursea��and Charging More for It

By using a pre-conference survey, you show students that there are expectations of your course. You show them that there will be more value than the a�?just show up and sit therea�� type of course. You show them that you care more about them than just showing up. You show them you will customize this course specifically for them. You can charge more for your course, because you have elevated the course from the ordinary to the extraordinary.

Your Responsibilities to the Students

Gathering all that information isna��t a free ride for you! Students will expect you to use that information to customize your course, teach to various learning styles, and stretch yourself as an instructor.

Let me know how you use surveys prior to courses to increase the value of your course.

A Gift for You

During my Instructor Development Workshop, I show dozens of teaching methods. I’ve compiled a list of 42 of them. Click here to get it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ultimate_RE_Trainer

A Teaching Resource for You

Tired of your own teaching methods? Want to dial it up? Take a look at The Ultimate Real Estate Trainer’s Guide.A�

Learn the 6-step process to create a great workshop, so you can create your own training workshop. Grasp the 3-part process to create a persuasive presentation to motivate your associates. Youa��ll get the most common mistakes trainers makea��and how to avoid them.

30 Checklists and Outlines

a�? A a�?cheat sheeta�� to put together a workshop in 10 minutes
a�? 2 ready-to-use teaching outlines
a�? An example of a student outline and a coordinating teaching outline (use as a guide to submit your outline to your Dept. of Licensing)
a�? 28 speakera��s tips
a�? Example of a training calendar
a�? A student evaluation form
a�? How to get students to attend: An effective marketing flyer
a�? 10 minute system to create a 1-3 hour training sessiona��one that works!
a�? Worksheet: How to create an in-office workshop
a�? 5 methods to build in student accountability and measurable results
a�? 6 ways to lose your a�?stage frighta��
a�? 6 ways to keep the audiencea��s attention
a�? 10 methods to a�?control troublemakersa�� in your audience
a�? 15 forms, systems and processes to create better training
a�? How to assure theya��ll participate in your training session
a�? How to build learning theory into your practical workshops
a�? How to avoid talking through an hour
a�? Attributes of effective new agent training
a�? Attributes of effective experienced agent training
a�? How to a�?timea�� your presentations so you end on time
a�? The 6 steps to build a workshop
a�? What to do when theya��re not paying attention
a�? What to do when youa��re out of time
a�? How to control the student who dominates questions
a�? How to utilize your agent talents in your training program
a�? A post-workshop trainera��s evaluation
a�? How to use role play the right way
a�? 5 ways to teach instead of lecturing
a�? The positives and pitfalls of each teaching method
a�? The coaching feedback loop, to motivate your students
a�? 28 tips for speakers
a�? Worksheet: attendance record
a�? Sample article to promote your workshop
a�? Sample flyer to promote your workshop
a�? Career Life Cycle: How to figure out who to train and the training you need
a�? Agent survey to discover training needs
a�? Your training calendar evaluator
a�? An example new agent training calendar
a�? An example of experienced agent training: The Masters Series
a�? How to find presenters
a�? How to design and present a panel discussion
a�? How to evaluate your training program
a�? 10 most common training program mistakes

Check outA�The Ultimate Real Estate Trainer’s Guide.A�

girl with mirrorThis month, I’m writing a blog series to help trainers write great courses. From writing courses for most of the major real estate franchises, and training thousands of real estate instructors, I’ve found some undeniable truisms. Here’s one:

Most real estate courses are not written with adult learning principles in mind. So, let’s look at these truisms and write our courses to reach the adult learner effectively. This is one of the areas we address in my resource on how to write a course (click here to see it).

How Adults Learn and Retain:A� How to Weave These Principles into your Course

A�Benefits to teaching to these principles in yourA� course:

  • Adults arena��t bored (!)
  • Adults feel important
  • Adults pay attention
  • Adults retain more
  • Adults feel protected; low risk environment
  • Adults like you better
  • Easier for you to teach!

The Big Principles to Keep in Mind

Adults learn through association:

a�?We learn what we already knowa�?. Two fellows teaching community colleges instructors how to teach shared that one with me. How insightful!

How do skilled presenters accomplish this in a course environment?

Do you relate what you’re teaching to the adult’s prior experience? Or, do you jump right into a complex theory and expect your students to keep up…..

Adults learn by doing

Life is a�?do it yourselfa�?. Do you have your students doing an action in class? What happens in your course to assure the students are a�?doinga��? How do you know they can do whatever it is you are teaching them to do? Observe it in class, of course!

Retention soars when adults do and say something at the same time. How are you using this principle in your course?

How much a�?doinga�� of significance do you have planned in your class?

Big principle: How we retain information is directly related to how we acquire that information.

Would you say that instructors are most concerned with short-term, or long-term student learning?

Adults learn from each other

Use teaching methods to encourage information exchange.

How do you assure students are exchanging information? Are you using various alternative delivery methods (not lecture) to assure students are learning not only from you, but from one another?

Adults learn through repetition

Use several approaches to the same concept/process. Does your course offer review and repetition to assure students are really learning?

Adults learn through rapid recall

What rapid recall methods have you seen used in the classroom? Do you do this so you ‘tie up’ each section before you move on?

Adults seek to satisfy individual needs

Experience levels vary greatly. How would an instructor find out each studenta��s individual experience levels prior to getting into the classroom?A� When I’m teaching Instructor Development Workshop, I provide each attendee a ‘pre-conference survey’ at registration, so I can see the needs and level of learning of that person. Even the words used give me some powerful hints about each attendee’s priorities and beliefs!

Adults learn practical information.A�

They want information and skills to directlyA� apply to their lives–right away.

How have you seen instructors assure that the information is not only applicable, but that the student applies the information to their challenges, while in the classroom? Are you assuring that each of your attendee translates the course information/skills into action plans?

Go back to the course your teaching or writing and see if you are adequately addressing how adults learn. Doing so is one of the attributes of a real course, not just an ‘information overload!

SSS_coverExpert Guidance to Write that Great Course!

If you’re serious about writing that great course, this is the resource for you. Step by step, Carla Cross, who has written courses for Re/Max, Better Homes and Gardens, Keller Williams Realty, GMAC, Royal LePage, and CRB, shows you exactly how to create your course and your outline. And, for those Washington state instructors, she shares tips on how to get your course approved for clock hours.

This resource is digital. You will get access immediately.

Introductory bonus: Keys to a Killer Introduction

Includes:

2 instructional videos
Templates to use as guides for course creation
Examples of courses
2 ‘cheat sheets’ to write your course modules
Guidance in how to get your course approved in Washington state.

With 95 pages, this resource, along with the 2 instructional videos, shows you exactly how to create a course that has substance, sizzle, and ‘sell’!

Thank you for a wonderful class on writing a course. This practice and hands on class has given me the confidence and tools I need to move forward with my course curriculum. I feel I have been given a business race car and I can move forward towards my dream of training agents across the country. A�Mary Lee, former head of training for Windermere Real Estate, Spokane, Wa.

Introductory price:A� $149A�A� Click here for more information and to order. You’ll get immediate access to the 95-page resource guide and 2 instructional videos.

A�

 

 

trainerTrainers: Here are some tips on how to gain focus on that great course you want to create–that course that’s been bouncing around in your head for years! In my next few blogs, I’m going to give you some specific tips to make your course truly ‘teachable’. Why? From teaching for over 2 decades, I’ve found many courses are not actually very ‘teachable’. In fact, they are either

1) Streams of consciousness

or

2) Information dump

If you’ve picked up someone else’sA� ‘course’, and tried to teach it, I’ll bet you know what I mean. Unfortunately, too many times, courses are written from an ‘information organization’ perspective, not a teaching perspective. In fact, because so many instructors have expressed frustration, I’ve just finished a resource on how to write a course.

Gaining Focus for your Course

Let’s look at the 6 W’s that you should answer before starting to create your course: The What, Why, Who, When, Where, Whata��s Next of your course, so you can clarify what you want to accomplish and gain focus. As I give you these, take time to answer each of these questions.

A�What course do you want to create?

Take a moment and write exactly what is in my mind (and heart) about this course. Ask yourself, “Is this actually a course”? Or, is it your desire to persuade people to your point of view? That’s certainly okay in a course, but not as a whole course. Instead, you have a ‘persuasive presentation’. Sometimes we want to impart our beliefs to people or make them ‘be’ in some way, but that’s not a course. (Be responsible, be customer-service oriented, etc.) Now, it’s true that can be one of the objectives of a course, but, just getting in front of people and telling them how they should be won’t make it as a course!

Do you see this course as an overview?A�A�A�A� An introduction?A� Comprehensive?A�A�A� A series?

Why?A� What are your compelling reason(s) to create this course? Be sure it’s not just all about you….

Who is this course for?A� What segment of the population do you want to address? One of the mistakes we make is not narrowing our focus to the level of expertise of our desired target audience.

What is their level of learning in your topic right now?

Who would not benefit from your course?

Do you need to narrow your scope for this course?

Where (type of delivery)

Is this course ‘live’? Is it distance learning? Will it be given as a webinar? Your decisions will direct you to the delivery methods (how you will teach).

Armed with the answers to the 6 W’s, you can gain a laser focus for your course, and go to the next step of course creation.

Expert Guidance to Write that Great Course!

SSS_coverIf you’re serious about writing that great course, this is the resource for you. Step by step, Carla Cross, who has written courses for Re/Max, Better Homes and Gardens, Keller Williams Realty, GMAC, Royal LePage, and CRB, shows you exactly how to create your course and your outline. And, for those Washington state instructors, she shares tips on how to get your course approved for clock hours.

This resource is digital. You will get access immediately.

Introductory bonus: Keys to a Killer Introduction

Includes:

2 instructional videos
Templates to use as guides for course creation
Examples of courses
2 ‘cheat sheets’ to write your course modules
Guidance in how to get your course approved in Washington state.

With 95 pages, this resource, along with the 2 instructional videos, shows you exactly how to create a course that has substance, sizzle, and ‘sell’!

Thank you for a wonderful class on writing a course. This practice and hands on class has given me the confidence and tools I need to move forward with my course curriculum. I feel I have been given a business race car and I can move forward towards my dream of training agents across the country. A�Mary Lee, former head of training for Windermere Real Estate, Spokane, Wa.

Introductory price:A� $149A�A� Click here for more information and to order. You’ll get immediate access to the 95-page resource guide and 2 instructional videos.

A�