"Based on direct feedback from participants, the best experiences they've had have been when power is shared between co-facilitators. That means there's a seamless give-and-take between the two, where mutual respect between the facilitators is demonstrated, along with fun and warmth."
I really enjoy co-training. I wish that I had more opportunities to train with someone else. So, when I do get the opportunity, I want to maximize our effectiveness. How do we do that? In addition to my own ideas, I ask colleagues for their ideas on how to maximize co-training opportunities so we can present as a seamless, integrated training team.
Karen Dietz, trainer and facilitator
Below I have listed success tips in five categories. These have proved helpful for maximizing co-trainers' effectiveness.
2. Just Before
- Ensure a shared understanding of the desired outcomes.
- Discuss roles and responsibilities related to:
- Kick off and wrap-up
- Different sections of the agenda
- Segues and hand offs
- Time frames, and what to do if behind schedule
- Discuss level of engagement while other person is training.
- Discuss preferences around interjections and interruptions from other trainer.
- Together, walk through the agenda at least a week before the training.
- Expect to be in the room an hour ahead of time to troubleshoot any problems and ensure that the room is configured correctly.
- Allow for a few moments of peace before the participants arrive.
- Have everything in place in order to greet participants as they arrive.
- Conduct informal check-ins during the day.
- Discuss what is working and fine-tune anything that isn't.
- Reference something the co-trainer did or said, and reference the co-trainer by name, so learners get a sense of respect between co-trainers-for example, "Remember the great point Cathy made this morning about..."
5. Relationship Dynamics
- Look through evaluations together and discuss them.
- Ask for and give feedback to each other.
- Discuss ways to continuously improve.
- Make a plan to implement ideas for improvement.
Cathy Bolger is a San Diego-based consultant specializing in Presentation Skills, Meeting Skills, and Conflict Management Skills. She can be reached at 619 294-2511 or Cathy@CathyBolger.com.
- Discuss personal patterns (perhaps based on the Myers Briggs or FIRO-B) and how to best use that information to utilize strengths and make adjustments.
- Discuss how to share power (see quote at beginning of the article).
- Co-training can enhance the learning experience. It takes planning and communication before, during and after the training event.