Five Factors of Effective Training

April 2019. Originally copyrighted and posted in "Type for Life" by the Center for the Applications of Psychological Type, Gainesville, FL. Used with permission.

Many of you reading Type for Life are experienced trainers or facilitators and that experience likely includes sessions that went wonderfully and those that did not quite meet your own standards. And since learning is so important in one's career and one's life (continuing to exercise your brain can keep you young(er), remember?!), undoubtedly if you haven't run a training class of your own, you've attended one. Here's a five-factor framework I use to evaluate training sessions:

  1. Format This is the training design. Does the session include the "right" theories (NT), ways to help participants develop their potential (NF), opportunities for participants to feel "at home" with their fellow "classmates" (SF), and efficient and clear ways to get the material across (ST)? Is there time for reflection (I) as well as action (E)? Is there structure (J) to cover the essentials as well as options (P) to meet needs as they arise? Is there a mix of activities that appeal to different types?
  2. Facilities Is the venue conducive to learning (and to fun — remember when learning is fun, it more likely sticks!)? Can people see and hear (not only the trainer but each other), and be physically comfortable? Here's hoping there are no pillars in the training room, loud construction noises outside, terribly uncomfortable chairs, power failures, etc. Tuning into the Sensing function helps here. SPs seem particularly adept at finding those facilities where fun and learning can combine.
  3. Facilitator Does this person know the material along with how to get it across? Are participant questions encouraged and respected? Is the facilitator able to use Perceiving (keep it flexible and follow the group's needs) as well as Judging (know when to keep it on track and moving)? Every type can potentially be a wonderful facilitator. If it happens to be you, it is important to be true to who you are, however, and not try to become a style that is not your own.<
  4. Fellowship Has the training group coalesced to the point where they are free to share their views, laugh at themselves, admit their mistakes or vulnerabilities? I've always liked the concept of "the Courage to be Imperfect" from Rudolph Dreikurs, an Adlerian psychologist. Participants can learn so much from one another when that fellowship is there and when they are willing to risk making a mistake for the sake of learning. Where there are a variety of types who have achieved fellowship, the training (at least if the topic is type) almost runs itself. Good fellowship can overcome or at least mitigate problems with all of the above challenges.
  5. Fate There are certainly things beyond anyone's control. I've had a participant collapse in a session from ill health and require paramedics. I've had hurricanes threaten to blow in and the participants spend more time rearranging their travel than concentrate on the material. I'm sure you have stories too.

Are there other factors you would add?