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Archive for task force

Here are four ways to avoid boring them to tears in a training session.

I just sat in on a training session for new real estate agents, and I had trouble sitting there. Why? Because the presenter was using almost all lecture.  Yes, the agents were listening intently. Yes, they seemed eager to learn. But, that lecture was not helping them learn. They needed to get involved!

Not only that, the students were new real estate agents, scared of a new career in which everything was up to them! They needed exercises to get confidence, to create ‘buddies’, and to meld as a team.

So, instead of lecturing, try breaking up your presenter-directed lecture with these techniques:

  1. Do a warm-up to loosen up everyone, teamify, have fun, and show that it’s going to be an exciting, fun-filled, course (more about how to do a warm-up in another blog).
  2. Instead of asking a question and letting people raise their hands to answer, turn it over to the group, and work in small groups to come up with answers. Then, name a reporter and compare answers (this is the task force, which I’ll also blog about later). This makes it much more interesting to the people, they get to know each other, and they gain confidence that then can come up with good answers.
  3. Pair up people to have them compare opinions, thoughts, and answers. You’ll be starting the buddy system now.
  4. Use accountability: Do you have it built in? You’ll want to build in assignments to complete so the students are learning in the field. That way, they’ll pay much more attention to you and learn a lot more.

Your turn:

How can you use these methods to wake up your students, get them involved, and get them learning at a much higher level?

 

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!

Teaching: Here are 3 principles to make those small groups work right.

This month, I’m doing blogs on teaching–specifically, how to change it up and quit lecturing your way through the day. I know we have thousands of dedicated real estate instructors. But, we seem to have thousands of bored students! Why? Because most of our courses don’t have a variety of teaching methods built in. 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 (I’ll write a blog on this later).

Three Principles for Great Task Forces

  1. The task must be something the attendees can do without further information. For example: If you’re teaching Instructor Development, you’ll probably have a section on ‘how adults learn’. You can easily subdivide this topic into 3 or 4 sections. For example, you could have ‘obstacles to adult learning’. You already know that your attendees can come up with several obstacles to adult learning–they have either experienced them or observed them.

What wouldn’t work in a task force: To ask your attendees to tackle something that they need additional information or training to accomplish. For example–if I were teaching a group of would-be instructors how to facilitate a task force, I couldn’t ask them to write down all the steps to facilitate until I’d taught them the steps.

2. One task per group: If you have several groups, assign only one task per group.

What wouldn’t work in a task force exercises: Assigning all the tasks to all the groups, or assigning the same task to every group. Why? Because the first group to report will report pretty much everything the other groups have come up with–an exercise in frustration! (There is a way to do this, which I’ll discuss in a later blog).

3. Put no more than 5 people in a group, so people have a chance to interact easily with each other, and everyone gets to have input.

What wouldn’t work: Putting more than 5 people in a group. The ‘outliers’ can’t communicate and only 2-3 people will end up contributing.

When To Use a Task Force

Task forces work really well at the beginning of a session, to break up your lecture in the middle of the section, and to summarize learning at the end.

Where will you employ a task force in your teaching? Let me know!

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!

Challenge: How would you teach this? Without lecturing!!!

In a month from now, I’ll be doing a training on how to make your courses come alive. Why? Because, unfortunately, most real estate courses consist of someone at the front of the room droning on…..and on….and on. Now, I don’t think that’s the instructor’s fault, to an extent. I think it’s the fault of the course writer.

The Challenge: Few Courses Written for the Instructor to Teach

You innocently pick up the course outline (it’s big and heavy, of course), and you start talking. How long does it take for your audience to quit listening and play with their phones? 3 minutes? 10 minutes? Probably no longer than that.

It Doesn’t Matter if You’re an Expert–or an Expert Lecturer

In truth, our attention spans have shrunken–and continue to shrink. So, we instructors just can’t talk through that outline and expect to keep the audience’s attention. But, what do we do instead? In this series of blogs, I’ll show you how to take part of that outline and make it more interesting.

In Most Cases, YOU Have to Also Put in the Teaching Methods

Since few courses have these teaching methods written in, you’ll have to develop the skills to take that boring outline and put in various and varied teaching methods. Find out how to do that in my upcoming course: 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).

Divide and Conquer: Using the Task Force

One of the reasons our real estate audiences get antsy is that they don’t like to sit quietly. But, you’ve probably seen the room get out of control if you encourage wild, unabated discussion! So, how do you help them talk and still control the situation? Divide and Conquer. Instead of having them all talk in open discussion, use the small group method. That’s called ‘task force’, because you’re literally putting them into small groups to work on a task they can accomplish.

Here’s an example of how to take the facts in that outline and throw them to the audience to reveal. Think of it this way: Instead of you–standing up in front of everyone and telling, and telling, and telling, you ask small groups to tackle parts of your topic and come up with solutions.

The Example of a Task Force

I teach Instructor Development Workshop, (coming April 9-10 in Bellevue, Wa), which certifies instructors in the state of Washinton to teach clock-hour approved courses. In one part of the outline, the topic is How Adults Learn. I have 3 pages in that outline that innumerate all the ways adults learn, including obstacles to adult learning.

Your turn: If I were to give you that outline and ask you to teach it, how would you proceed? You might just talk through those 3 pages, reading what I’d written. Hate to tell you, but that would be so boring! (And you wouldn’t learn what your audience does and does not know!) Instead, here’s how I do it.

Using the Task Force to Explore ‘How Adults Learn’

Here’s how I teach this section. I divide that topic into 4 areas: How adults learn, the obstacles to adult learning, the attributes of the real estate adult learner, and effective retention techniques.

See the slide from my Insructor Development Workshop I use that gives instructions to the task forces here.

Here are 2 Keys to doing Task Forces:

  1. The tasks must be something that the attendees can accomplish from information they already have
  2. The tasks must be meaningful to what you’re teaching

Task Forces Must be Meaningful: And a Springboard

Look at the last sentence in the slide. That’s my ‘springboard’. I’m asking the attendees to figure out ‘what does it mean to me?” That’s the relevance of the exercise.

In later blogs, I’ll give you tips on using this and other ‘divide and conquer’ methods to make your teaching–and their learning–much more enjoyable! You’ll get great reviews and return customers!

Let me Help your Instructors Put Pizazzz into those Courses

There are 2 ways I can help you: If you’re in Washington state, come to my class April 23-24. Or, invite me to your company anywhere in the US or Canada and I’ll customize a special session for you. I use YOUR outlines and we actually put in the methods and teach them. You’ll get much better attendance at your courses, have excited, enthusiastic instructors, and find it easier to get return business!

Contact me to find out how I can help. Let’s make your courses shine!