Meet Darryl Wyles!
What is your favorite motivational quote?
I am inspired by the work of the famous basketball coach John Wooden of UCLA. This is one of many of his famous motivational quotes: “Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.”
Attendees in my classes will often hear me say the phrase “Less of me, more of them.” Meaning the learning event is about the participant, not the facilitator. We should do the work and create an environment that encourages the participant to contribute to the class. We should not do all the talking.
How many years have you been a facilitator? Did you find the career path, or did it find you?
Here is the long story. I have been in this field now for 25 years. This career found me instead of me finding it: I went to college and got a degree to work in sports because I wanted to be a coach or work in a professional sports team front office or college athletic department. Growing up, I admired coaches in many sports, and I wanted a career that allowed me to help people grow and develop in something they were enthusiastic about. At the time, I felt a career in sports was the best way to accomplish my dream. After graduating college, I coached high school basketball in Washington, DC. To support myself, I worked in retail banking. While working in banking, I helped my new colleagues get acclimated to the job. Eventually, I got an opportunity to work on a project during a bank merger where I had to quickly learn a new system and help branch staff get acclimated to it. It was during this project that I caught the attention of a member of the bank’s training team, and they suggested that I apply for an open position in the training department. I applied for it and got the job. While I continued to coach basketball for a few years early in my career as a facilitator, I quickly fell in love with training and facilitation. It presented a wonderful opportunity to use my gift and work with people from different walks of life. As my career progressed in training, it began to give me even greater satisfaction in helping people grow. So, I have stayed in this field happily ever since.
What is something you wish you knew before becoming a facilitator?
I am not sure if there is anything I wish I had known beforehand. I have had so much fun learning it as I go. What I enjoy the most is that there are so many different and exciting pathways to becoming a facilitator. To each their own, so to speak.
What is your go-to facilitation tool?
I am nothing without my clicker. Yet, I am always looking for it in the middle of facilitating. (I often misplace it.)
How has hybrid learning changed how you facilitate?
The biggest discovery I have had with virtual (hybrid) learning is growing comfortable with a little silence whenever I ask questions. Initially, I was uncomfortable when I asked questions, and no one would immediately reply. However, I got some impressive advice from a coach who reminded me that I need to allow time for my participants to process what I share with them before they respond. Since that discovery, I began to grow comfortable with those short moments of silence.
What is your best piece of advice for anyone looking to become a facilitator?
Watch everyone (other facilitators, public speakers, teachers, etc.) and everything (how people are responding, how people are paying attention, what they are doing while learning). It is a precious opportunity to add to your repertoire. Take risks and try out your facilitation ideas. It will help form your facilitation style. Do not get down on yourself if things do not work out the first time you try it. Learn from your mistakes and use them to fuel you up for the next opportunity.
What is your favorite part about being a facilitator?
The people. I enjoy meeting people who attend my classes and meeting people at conferences or events. Away from everything, I am quiet and low key. However, it all changes when I get into the classroom or event environment. It is like a light comes on, and I draw from all the energy that is in the room. So many of my best relationships with friends and colleagues have been forged in my facilitation career. The exposure to people from different occupations has expanded my worldview.
What is your favorite song these days? Or what is the last great book you read? Or what is your favorite hobby outside of work?
The Tiny Desk Concert by Usher got a lot of attention this summer, and my friends are probably tired of me sending them the “Watch This” GIF. However, I love his song “Superstar.” I blast it and sing it first thing when I get in my car (much to the chagrin of my wife). I also listen to a lot of old school hip hop, and being a native of Washington, DC, I love our hometown go-go music.
My last great read is a book by my colleague Dr. Esther Jackson, Adaptability in Talent Development. Her chapter on embracing challenges resonates with me and reminds me of the mindset you need to have to be successful in this field. I am also looking forward to an upcoming book from my colleague, Sardek Love, Presentation Essentials.
I live in Silver Spring, Maryland, outside of Washington, DC, where there is so much to explore and do. In my downtime, I like to explore the extensive trail system in my neighborhood. I try to reach the 10,000 steps goal each day. When hanging with my friends, I like to visit the rooftop venues throughout the DC area. I enjoy traveling with my family to the beach. We even go there in the winter. Also, I am an avid soccer fan; I watch matches whenever they are on from across the world.
How have your facilitation skills/training aided you in other aspects of your personal or professional life?
Confidence. I feel comfortable and quickly adapt to new settings and new environments.