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Why Do We Structure Training?

Last weekend, I attended a get together for a friend. As most of us in attendance were strangers, our host kicked things off with an icebreaker. After our icebreaker, the host gave a short speech, we then participated in a few activities at our own pace, and wrapped up by opening gifts and bidding farewell to our friend. When I returned home I thought about what activities I would have built into that party when it dawned on me that the host structured her party almost exactly how I structure a training in the Anchor, Content, Application, Future use model.

This isn’t the first time I noticed that our structure applies outside of the training room. Let’s look at a few ways you can use this model beyond lesson planning.

Meeting Structure

Have you ever been in a meeting where nothing was accomplished? Yeah, me too. Meetings fail if they are not structured and timed. Employees only have a few hours a day for meetings, and this time should be optimized to leverage it in a useful manner. The next meeting you organize, try setting your agenda with the Anchor, Content, Application Future use model and keep things within the time contracts on your agenda.

Team Retreat Structure

As a remote worker for the majority of my career, I have been to dozens of team retreats or team building events. As a mom with small kids at home, I appreciate when the time at these retreats is well spent. Departing from one of these retreats — which is often a once a year opportunity to see colleagues face-to-face — without accomplishing the goals we set out achieve is a huge missed opportunity. Once again, these meetings need an agenda and a structure that will set your team up for success. With team retreats, I would go a step further and set outcomes with actionable and measurable objectives to keep the team on task for the duration of the retreat.

Brainstorming Session Structure

Generating ideas in a group with the freedom and safety to say anything is a great way to come up with new ideas or see things from various viewpoints. Brainstorming sessions are often free-form to accommodate the casual “say whatever comes to your head” feeling. I am all for freedom in brainstorming, but these sessions are much more effective if they are structured with more intention with a solid structure.

I see new applications we can use our training structure on a regular basis. How do you use our training structure? Let’s talk about it in the comments below.

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