How You Can Get The Most From Attending Workshops

Posted 23/01/2017

Actions for before, during and after..

We’ve all attended workshops where we return to work with no idea how we’re going to relate what we learnt to what we do every day. We had a great time, or perhaps we didn't, but the ability to apply the learning is lost on us. 

Here’s a few things we’ve found that have worked for others attending our category management, influencing and communication, negotiation or supplier management workshops. 

Before you attend the workshop:

  • Think about how you want your performance to change, and the benefits of successfully making these changes.

  • To support this change in performance, identify 3 objectives you have for the workshop topic(s) – this might include reviewing the agenda, discussing this with your manager, or with others who are attending the workshop.

  • What specifically would you be doing differently as a result of achieving these objectives – the more specific you can be the more likely you will find a solution during the workshop.

  • Turn your out of office on

On the day

  • Turn up with note pad and pen – including having your 3 objectives written down.

  • Write down key insights as they emerge that relate to your 3 objectives.

  • Identify at least three actions you will take in the 24 hours after workshop completion – one for each of the 3 objectives – ie what will you do differently as a result of the insight gained?

  • And please keep distractions to a minimum – half an eye on emails isn't allowing your brain the opportunity to fully embrace the new knowledge.

After the workshop

  • Review your learning and insights frequently – it's the best way of refreshing your memory of new knowledge.

  • Discuss your insights with others – ie your manager, others who attended the workshop, or even with colleagues who didn’t attend (the quickest way to learn something is to teach it to others).

  • Ensure you do the actions you identified on the day – consider other actions you may wish to take as a result of continued insight.

  • Notice how your performance has changed – what are you now doing differently?

In other words do please take responsibility for your continuing professional development, and understand ahead of time how you will make the most from the investment of X days away from the office at the workshop.

Do please share in comments below what’s worked best for you in the past, so that together we can develop a strategy that maximises value arising from attending workshops.

Tagged by topic: Learning and Development

  by Alison Smith

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