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No Stupid Questions

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Training is expected to yield change. How does change make people feel? I don’t know that we can expect everyone to react consistently when they react to change, but there is a tendency for most of us to ask how changes affect our own lives when we are faced with them.

As trainers, we make sure our project sponsors are happy, our objectives are met, and we put our best work into the training. While important, that philosophy alone may set us up for failure. We are introducing people to a new thing that may change a major part of our participants’ lives. These participants likely have clarifying questions; specifically, how this change affects them.

When our teams are in front of a room helping participants realize these changes, we need to make sure our message is consistent and accurate.  How do we keep our answers consistent, especially when someone throws us a particularly difficult question? Let’s look at a few ways we can make sure our teams are delivering the same message when answering questions from participants.

Brainstorm Hard Questions

Take a moment with your team to picture how they would feel about these changes in their own job. Using that as motivation, what questions would they have? As the old adage goes, there are no stupid questions. Take note of their ideas, these may be the questions they are faced with during their sessions.

Discuss Helpful Answers

Once the hard questions are determined, lead a group discussion on ways to answer all of these questions. The important part of this step is to agree on a consistent message that will be delivered to participants.

Practice Consistent Delivery

Now that your team agrees on hard questions and the answers, it is time to prepare your consistent answers. Role play, flashcards, pop quizzes, or any form of practice is effective and important at this point. The goal is to make sure everyone is able articulate a consistent message no matter how the question is presented.

Have you faced hard questions from participants? How do you handle them? Let’s talk about it in the comment below.

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