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Reviving Dead Facilitation Skills: STAT

Tuesday, March 10, 2020
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"On any given day in a hospital, you can find people having the best day of their life, the worst day of their life, the first day of their life, and the last day of their life all under one roof."
—Anonymous

That quote puts into perspective the context that healthcare leaders and clinicians dwell in regularly. It is not just another training class for them. Healthcare is a unique environment because these employees invite the sick to be healed. They see people at their worst and are hoping for their best. As talent development professionals in this industry, we must remember every minute they are away from the floor needs to be a minute well spent.

Reviving Dead Facilitation Skills: Stat is a session I am facilitating at ATD 2020. This session will guide talent development professionals through the necessary skills to create engaging training for healthcare professionals. There are, among many, two important takeaways about facilitating training in healthcare.

First, healthcare workers are looking for any training they attend to be informative, relevant, and practical. Let’s start with relevant. If they are going to be away from their patients and away from their work, they will want to know why. The “why” needs to be answered before they attend training so that they can come prepared to receive the necessary knowledge that they need. Once it is uncovered that the training is relevant, it needs to be informative. Informative training is accurate and advances or refreshes their knowledge or skills. Lastly, it needs to be practical. It needs to be real. It needs to be able to really be applied in their context, in their departments. Any training that is not practical is a fairytale and only exists conceptually. They do real work and need real solutions.

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The second takeaway is fun! I’ve received feedback from clinical directors about their constant need for a boost of motivation. Consider the quote from earlier. They are dealing with life, death, sickness, and healing. It’s easy for their motivation tank to get low. Fun can be accomplished subtly by small talk with attendees before the training and during the breaks. It can also be more direct with proper storytelling, videos, table talk discussions, and meaningful icebreakers. Fun does not always equal a party with loud music. Fun is accomplished through the attendees’ smiles, laughs, and alertness. Keeping them awake is no easy feat, and it’s accomplished through the takeaways I outlined.

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Above all else, be yourself. Don’t neglect your authentic self. There’s such value in being you—in your natural speaking voice, in your natural joke-telling voice, in your natural sense of practicality. Think like the learner. What are they truly seeking and what do they really need to know? If you were going to invest your time or money to attend a training, what would you really want to get out of it? If you facilitate courses from the perspective of the learner, you will win every time.

I’m looking forward to presenting more in-depth information during my session at the ATD 2020 International Conference & EXPO. See you there!

About the Author

Mechelle Roberthon is a Certified Professional in Learning & Performance (CPLP), and serves as a Senior Learning Partner for a large health system in Louisiana. Her background includes training delivery, performance improvement, knowledge management, integrated talent management, managing learning programs, and interpersonal/business/personal skills. She holds a Masters of Science in Education with a specialization in Training and Performance Improvement, and is pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Learning and Organizational Change from Baylor University. Mechelle is also an experienced career and professional development instructor. She has taught over 500 corporate courses with her evaluations consistently rating above average. Her dynamic teaching style has become a favorite amongst learners.

2 Comments
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Mechelle, You have captured the unique healthcare learners needs very succinctly. I wholeheartedly agree with your statement-"As talent development professionals in this industry, we must remember every minute they are away from the floor needs to be a minute well spent." Thank you!
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