There is basic training that we may not need to repeat. For instance, none of us is likely inclined to repeat first grade, nor should we. However, repeating most training can be a great opportunity to learn.
For example, even if you are already familiar with the material in a class or training session, why don’t you:
1. Watch and see how others process the material. You might discover new perspectives, uses, or self-created obstacles you had failed to previously see in yourself.
2. Help explain the material. Don’t dominate the teacher, but offer real life examples to supplement the material. Or help an individual that is struggling. You’ll be rewarded, as teaching provides greater insight.
3. Learn new presentation skills by watching the presenter. What do they do that really connects with the audience? What do they do that is ignored by the audience? Do you do any of these things? Probably good to know.
4. Consider a new use for the material. I frequently get writing and blogging ideas from speakers on just about any topic. It may be a phrase, an example, or even a couple of words that open up new areas of thinking.
5. Notice what you have forgotten and relearn it. We forget more than we remember. Many times the greatest value of a class or speaker is to remind you of important things you’ve let slide. Pay attention and regain focus!
6. Disagree with the material and offer other realistic options or ideas. Don’t be argumentative but find ways to be a pleasant “Devil’s Advocate” on a topic or idea. To really understand an idea, you must stretch it to the edges, sometimes even to the point of breaking the idea. Even if you don’t break the idea, you’ll undestand it better!
Each approach will be useful and make your class or speaker, even the worst ones, more interesting!
Glenn S. Phillips is the author of the book Nerd-to-English: Your Everyday Guide to Translating Your Business, Your Messages, and Yourself. You can email Glenn directly at email@example.com.
Glenn is also the president of Forte’ Incorporated, a consulting firm that works with business leaders to understand and address the often hidden technology and business risks lurking within their organizations.
© Copyright 2012. Glenn S. Phillips, Forte’ Incorporated. (205) 985-1111