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Friday, January 12, 2018

The Unexpected - Shake it up, move it out

Photo courtesy of Gratisograhpy

Workplace training comes in all shapes and forms.  We moved from strictly in-class room, to computer e-learning, to blended learning.  The one word that also seems to go along with many of training initiatives is the description BORING. 

The PowerPoint is ready, with title and presenter name, the workbooks are on the desk, sometimes with the entire 80 slide deck.  YIKES!  It is the workforce learning routine.  Even the beginning is routine: an ice breaker starts the class – ask your neighbor some ‘get to know you’ question where you are not sure you are clever enough or witty enough to be the room.   The presenter gives a dissertation on their credentials, and then away you go to slide number 2…blah….

What if we in workforce training pushed the envelope and went for the unexpected?  I have been doing this for a while, and I was taught a formula to create a class.  But I am finding the formulas don’t work as much today.   The current employee learner expects the unexpected, or at least hope for it, because it the nature of life. 

I also know the classes I have taught, and have attended, which I enjoyed the most is where I pushed for the unexpected.  You would be amazed what a game of hot potato will do to a classroom training.  Yes, the hot potato game you played as a kid.  You would be amazed what happens when you push people to do role plays/improv (whatever you want to call it), when they don’t want to do it.  Magic happens! 

So wear your traditional suit and create your beautiful PowerPoint decks.  But before you get started, show the participants your big blue unexpected pair of clown shoes, and plan for something amazing!

Stacey Oliver-Knappe is a customer service guru, speaker, and business anthology author of “Compassion@Work: Creating Workplaces that Engage the Human Spirit.” For information, contact 407-495-0846 or For information on The Secret to Customer Service Excellence™ training programs, go to Follow on Twitter: @CSGurus

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