Boost Your Productivity: Overcome Procrastination 

 

Boost Your Productivity: Overcome Procrastination

We all procrastinate from time to time. Procrastination occurs when we avoid tasks. There are a number of reasons why someone may procrastinate. We may avoid tasks that we find unpleasant. We may also procrastinate tasks that we don’t feel confident we can do adequately. Or we simply may avoid tasks by consistently prioritizing other things that need to be done above them. Even if we perform other work-related tasks instead of the ones we dislike, we are guilty of procrastination. Unfortunately, procrastination will hinder our long-term success. With the proper skills, you can overcome procrastination.

1. EAT THAT FROG!

Mark Twain has a saying that applies to procrastination:

If the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long!

Brian Tracy named his course on time management “Eat that Frog” because of this saying. The frog is anything that you do not want to do. You should complete your dreaded tasks first. Getting them out of the way will provide you with a sense of accomplishment and keep you from procrastinating. Always begin with the task that is the hardest and most significant, and you will be less tempted to procrastinate on other activities.

When you dislike a particular task, it is easy to procrastinate. Whether you spend time checking email or looking at Instagram, you are procrastinating. You need to do more than identify when you procrastinate. You need to discover why.

  • Discover your obstacles: What do you choose over your tasks?
  • Discover ways to remove obstacles: Ask for support, and take action. For example, you could turn off the Internet and your phone.
  • Reward yourself: Make the task fun, and use small rewards as incentive.

Once you have identified your frogs and obstacles, the only answer is to take action. Make the tasks that you want to avoid part of your daily routine. Schedule the tasks into your calendar. Once they become habit, you will find them easier to accomplish. Once you have scheduled the time to accomplish your tasks, you must follow through. Resist the temptation to procrastinate with your favorite time waster. Just do it.

2. THE 15 MINUTE RULE

Lack of time is a common excuse for not completing a task. We often overestimate the time that it takes to complete tasks, but the 15-minute rule allows you to accurately time your tasks. When you follow the 15-minute rule, you set a timer for 15 minutes and work on a task. You should stop working on the task when the time is up. You will be surprised by how many tasks you complete within the 15 minutes. When you are not able to complete a task within 15 minutes, schedule 15 minutes the next day for the same task. This allows you to make consistent progress. You will also be able to better estimate how long a similar task will take.

3. CHOP IT UP

The size of a project can also contribute to procrastination. It is easy to become overwhelmed by a large project. The key to overcoming procrastination is to chop up the large project into smaller tasks. Rather than looking at the entire project, focus on the single task. This will prevent you from becoming overwhelmed by the enormity of the work you must complete. For example, you could break a large report into different tasks such as brainstorming, outlining, writing, etc. This technique will create a sense of achievement with each step and improve motivation, allowing you to stay focused as you reach the end of the entire project.

4. AVOID DISTRACTIONS

We are bombarded by distractions every day. These distractions are temptations to procrastinate. By removing as many distractions as possible, you will be on track to overcoming procrastination.

Distractions to Avoid:

  • Office clutter: Clean up your space at the end of each day, at home and in the office. A clean space will keep you focused and not interrupt your work.
  • Email notification: Establish specific times to check email. Automatic notifications are distracting and cut into the time you spend on each project.
  • Telephone calls: Do not take all calls. Choose a time to return calls and texts.
  • Environment: Remove distractions such as books, magazines, etc., from your workstation.

5. START SMALL AND BUILD

A habit of procrastination does not happen overnight. Equally, it is not possible to stop procrastinating overnight. Expecting an immediate change will only lead to disappointment. You need to start small and build to end procrastination once and for all. Begin by creating a daily “to-do list” for your personal life. Include the tasks that you have trouble completing, such as laundry or cleaning the kitchen. When you have stability in your schedule, it will be easier to address procrastination at work.

Create a daily schedule for work once you have broken down your larger tasks into smaller ones. As your productivity increases, you will be able to build upon your schedule. You may soon find that you are completing tasks ahead of schedule!

6. REWARD YOURSELF

People tend to procrastinate because they find certain tasks to be unpleasant, so procrastination becomes its own reward. TO overcome procrastination, you could implement a reward system for tasks completed. For example, spending 10 minutes on Facebook could be a reward for returning phone calls. Similarly, going to a movie could be a reward for completing a report on time. When choosing, you should avoid rewarding yourself with anything that you already have planned. For example, if you already have plans to go out with friends on the weekend, the outing will not serve as a reward. Using the appropriate rewards will improve motivation and help prevent procrastination.

7. SET REALISTIC DEADLINES

Schedules and deadlines will help you stay focused. When setting deadlines, however, you must be realistic. Unrealistic deadlines will contribute to procrastination. If you do not have a chance of completing a task on time, you will avoid it. If you are creating your deadline, you should consider how long similar tasks have taken. Be honest, and allow time for interruptions and emergencies. Do not create a schedule based on the best-case scenario; you are setting yourself up for failure. If you are assigned a deadline, determine if it is realistic. If it is not, attempt to negotiate a more realistic date. This negotiation should be done as quickly as possible to prevent complications later.

CONCLUSION

We hope our tips and tricks for overcoming procrastination will help you meet your goals for the new year.

To learn more about meeting your goals and avoiding procrastination, check out our training workshops like:
Goal Setting and Getting Things Done,
Time Management, and 
Personal Productivity.

Corporate Training Materials

You Quick Guide to Workplace Bullying

 

Training on preventing bullying in the workplace is crucial in creating a workplace that is inclusive and safe for all.

Your company has a responsibility to prevent bullying and its impact.

But what is bullying in the workplace and its different types? Why do people bully in the workplace? And what do you do if you or someone in your workplace is being bullied?

We answer these questions and more in the below Quick Guide to Workplace Bullying.

WHAT IS WORKPLACE BULLYING?

Workplace bullying is repetitive and excessively unpleasant actions and behaviors put on an employee or group of employees, that negatively impact health and safety in the workplace.

This type of harmful behavior in the workplace often goes unreported, mainly because of its shameful, intimidating effect on the victimized employee.

In even more extreme cases, workplace bullying may not come to light due to the victim working a lower-level position, and feeling intimidated. However, it’s not always a boss or manager who is doing the bullying, and it can very well be a co-worker on the same level as the person feeling victimized.

TYPES OF WORKPLACE BULLYING/BULLIES

There are several different types of bullying. Having an understanding of the different types of bullying can help you know when to identify it. These include:

Verbal bullying: With verbal bullying, the bully uses their words and/or writing to be hurtful or mean. This can be done via teasing, calling someone names, unsolicited sexual comments, making threats to harm, or mocking.

The aggressor seeks to achieve dominance over the victim by demeaning or lowering his/her self-esteem.

Cyberbullying: With cyberbullying, the bully uses sources such as cell phones, computers, and social media to spread false or unkind information about someone else, which can cause humiliation. Emailing and texting are two common forms used to perpetuate this behavior.

Types of Bullies: As previously mentioned, workplace bullying can come in many forms. One of these is the prankster, someone who doesn’t know the difference between what’s mean and what’s funny. Another one would be the saboteur. This is a person who tries to take credit for work that you did or go out of their way to make your job harder than it has to be.

There are also critics. These are the folks who, no matter how good a job you do, it’s never good enough for them. Some workplace bullies simply shut you out. For example, they won’t tell you when there’s a meeting among employees (where important information may be dispersed), then blame you for not knowing the proper procedure or course of action when the time comes to use that information or training on the job.

There is the boss bully, the person who controls whether or not you keep your job. This type of bully feels that you are required to agree with them about everything they do or say (job-related or otherwise), whether they are morally right or wrong. Boss bullies also may attempt to treat you like a puppet and try to force you to do tasks that are abnormal or seemingly only for their amusement.

Whether verbal or cyber, any form of bullying is detrimental to the one being bullied.

WHY PEOPLE BULLY IN THE WORKPLACE

Bullies hardly ever bully because they think they’re bigger and Badder than anyone else. In fact, quite the opposite is true, and they actually have issues with their own confidence. Below are some common reasons as to why people may bully in the workplace.

Lack of Self-Esteem: One of the main reasons that a person bullies is because they are not confident in their own abilities. The way they choose to respond to this incompetence is by being extra aggressive or belittling to others. They are very sensitive to even the smallest comments. Actions or words directed toward them that are even slightly critical of their work performance will very likely be found offensive. This is one reason some workplace bullies act out the way they do, they feel threatened by their coworkers who outperform them.

It may be a boss who is doing the bullying; they may feel threatened by a worker who is doing an excellent job; someone who could potentially replace them.

A Need to Control: Bullies can be controlling. One way they measure their productivity is by pushing others around, and by talking down to them. This person may not necessarily be someone who does the hiring and firing; they may be same-level coworkers trying hard to impress the boss. This type of bully wants the boss to see that they are in charge of workplace activities and that they are in control of their fellow employees. In a bully’s mind, this is the type of behavior they think will eventually get them promoted.

Being Bullied: Instinctively, a person will know when they are being bullied simply because of the way they feel. A workplace bully may try to make their victims feel isolated. For example, an entire office knows about a new rule, but one person isn’t informed. When that person breaks that rule (one that they didn’t even know about in the first place), they get punished for it.

A workplace bully may also try to make their victim do impossible tasks; or give them so much work to do that they could not possibly meet a deadline. When the deadline is not met, the bully may shout at the worker in front of other people, making them feel horrible and embarrassed. A bullying victim may let Human Resources know about this situation, but HR may suggest trying to work the problem out with the person. This approach will not likely be helpful, especially if the bully is in a higher position than the victim. The victimized worker feels they may lose their job if what they say to the bully is perceived as insubordinate.

A Toxic Work EnvironmentA toxic work environment can feed into a cycle of workplace bullying. This can stem from anything from unhealthy power dynamics to gossip to poor communication. If employees feel burnt out or unhappy in the workplace due to toxicity in the workplace, it can cause further decreases in self-esteem or a need to regain control, which can lead to bullying in the workplace.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE BEING BULLIED IN THE WORKPLACE

Would you know if you were being bullied at work by a co-worker? And if you were, what would you do about it? Below are our tips for what to do when you feel that you are being bullied in the workplace.

Seek Support: After being bullied at work, you may feel hesitant to seek support due to embarrassment or shame. It’s important to remember that personal health (physical and mental) should be prioritized when dealing with these types of situations, especially if they had been going on for a long period of time. It’s okay to see medical professionals, mental health specialists, or to seek therapy. It is important to not isolate yourself.

Speak Up: Speaking up to a bully is likely the hardest thing for a victimized employee to do. Confronting your bully alone is a good method to get straight to the point. In this conversation, the victim should be completely honest with the bully about how the situation affects them. If this private conversation doesn’t work, and the bully doesn’t back off, then the next step would be to talk to upper management.

Document/Report: Documenting incidences of workplace bullying can help you better identify it. Being able to provide evidence of consistent bullying will help you build a case when you report it. If you don’t know who to report workplace bullying too, you should ask your human resources department, supervisor, or even just a trusted colleague.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU WITNESS SOMEONE BEING BULLIED AT WORK

The actions you take when you witness someone being bullied are just as important as the ones you take when you are getting bullied in the workplace. Below are some things to consider when you see someone in your workplace get bullied:

Support Victim: If you find yourself sitting on the sidelines overhearing or even bearing witness to someone being bullied on the job, the best thing that you can do initially is pull that victim to the side and ask them if they realize that they are being bullied. It’s important to establish this knowledge because sometimes they may not even realize that the way someone is continuously aggravating them, isolating them, gossiping about them, or treating them badly in other ways is actually labeled as workplace bullying and that actions should be taken to stop it.

Document/Report: When you witness the bullying, pull the victimized person to the side and encourage them to document these incidents. They may be hesitant to do so, but let them know that without proof there will be no record or building of a case against the bully. Offer to help them as a witness or to support them when they report the case to a supervisor.

CONCLUSION

Workplace bullying happens a lot more than people actually realize. It doesn’t just affect the person being bullied, but can make the entire workplace toxic. A strong first step to reducing this behavior in the workplace is providing effective training. Get a head start on this with our Workplace Bullying Workshop today!

Determine Your Training Needs – A Complete Guide

Determine Your Training Needs – A Complete Guide

Have you ever felt like you could see the potential of providing corporate training, but didn’t quite know where to start?

One of the first steps of providing corporate training is deciding what training topic you want to cover.

This is a mindful process that requires time and attention to get right.

Below is our detailed guide to conducting a needs analysis to determine what kind of training workshop you should conduct

PERFORMING A NEEDS ANALYSIS

In order to help you identify your training needs, the first thing to look at is how to perform a needs analysis. This will provide you with the answers to a few basic questions and help you to understand your audience. This research will help you develop a basic outline that can then be used to help create your training program.

A needs analysis is performed when there is a lack of knowledge, skills, or attitude that is negatively affecting a group of employees, customers, etc. It is the process of identifying and evaluating training that should be done to improve a current situation. Challenges are defined and opportunities noted; a needs analysis will help the trainer set goals and priorities and decide which method to use to deliver the message. The information gathered will become the basis of a well-delivered workshop.

The results of the research will help to answer the following questions:

  • Who is the audience with the problem or need for change?
  • What tasks and subtasks does an expert perform to a work process?
  • What gaps exist between experts, average, and poor performers of a work process?
  • How do we translate the needs into objectives to promote a positive learning outcome?

1. WHO IS THE AUDIENCE WITH THE PROBLEM OR NEED FOR CHANGE?

The first step in conducting a needs analysis is asking yourself what you know about your audience. Your audience should determine the content and approach of your training. Find out what they know; use their words and terms and better your understanding of where your trainees are at.

Understanding your audience also helps you determine what training format may be best. A group of youth interested in entrepreneurship won’t experience the same presentation as a group of senior entrepreneurs.

Ask yourself:

  • What is the aim of my training?
  • What do I want the audience to do after my presentation?
  • What will your audience learn?
  • What happens afterwards?
  • What outcomes should be expected?
  • What changes in the workplace should occur?
  • Who will implement these changes?

These are all questions you should ask yourself when better understanding your audience. Continually referring to these questions as you build your needs analysis (and training workshop in general) will help you stay on track and focused.

2. WHAT TASKS AND SUBTASKS DOES AN EXPERT PERFORM TO A WORK PROCESS?

In order to be able to provide contextual training, you must understand the roles of your trainees. Learning the objectives of your trainees and their process for meeting them gives you the ability to list their tasks and subtasks.

For example: Consider this in the context of a call center. Although the call center reps are empowered to assist customers, several are not solving callers’ product problems. Instead, they are passing them on to the Escalation Desk, creating a bottleneck, and unhappy customers. The needs analysis identified a task called “Resolve customer complaints”. Some of its tasks/subtasks are:

  • Handling a Call
  • Answer call
  • Listen to customer’s problem
  • Express empathy for the trouble
  • Open a new support ticket
  • Resolve the complaint per the list of allowable resolutions
  • Documenting Call Resolution
  • Document the resolution in the call notes
  • Close support ticket

While some of this information may be common knowledge to you, don’t assume someone else’s tasks/subtasks. Make sure you communicate with employees and let them tell you their tasks/subtasks. Getting this info directly from the source ensures you aren’t misinterpreting certain aspects of their roles and that you didn’t forget any crucial tasks that could help you better identify their needs.

3. WHAT GAPS EXIST BETWEEN EXPERTS, AVERAGE, AND POOR PERFORMERS OF A WORK PROCESS?

So, you have identified the problem and the people involved in the process where issues are arising. You have communicated with them to understand the tasks and sub-tasks involved.

Now it is time to identify the gaps. Consider the experience level of all the employees involved. Do some people have higher levels of training/expertise than others?

Note what systems are being used that may be out of date or less than efficient. Are there new systems that your team should be trained in?

Think about what employees are involved in this process but may not be communicating with each other. Is a lack of communication causing preventable mistakes or deadlines not being met?

Even better, ask the employees involved some of the following questions to also identify gaps:

  • What are the department needs?
  • What are some problems your department is experiencing?
  • How long has this been a problem?
  • What would indicate to you that the problem has been solved?

Once you have evaluated this, simply note the gaps you see in the processes that are contributing to the problem. If you are having difficulty finding these gaps, or are worried you missed something, consider explaining to a third party the process, the tasks/subtasks, and the people involved. Get them to ask you critical questions and see if they can poke any holes in it. If you can’t adequately answer certain questions or account for their critiques, those may be areas to examine for gaps.

4. HOW DO WE TRANSLATE THE NEEDS INTO OBJECTIVES TO PROMOTE A POSITIVE LEARNING OUTCOME?

Now that we have identified the gaps, we can finally set our objectives and identify our specific training needs.

How can we fill the gaps we found in your organization’s processes? Fortunately, since we have done all our prep work to identify these, the objections should be fairly clear by now. For example:

If the gaps lie in inconsistent training levels between employees, perhaps there are employees that need to receive training that others already have. Or maybe a refresher training session is required.

If the gaps lie in outdated or inefficient systems, it may be time to revamp these and give everyone updated training on the new system/policies.

If the gaps lie in a lack of communication, then soft skills training will help your employees improve their communication skills, emotional intelligence, and teamwork skills.

Translating the gaps and needs of your team into objectives will ensure better learning outcomes for your training.

CONCLUSION

One of the best parts of conducting a needs analysis is that once it is done, it has likely produced much of the supporting content required to build your training program. So, if you are hesitant to do a complete needs analysis, remember how much time it will save you later, and how much better your training will be for it.

We hope that our outline for conducting a needs analysis will help you better understand your training needs.

Posted by Katelyn Roy, Corporate Training

Your Guide to Trainee Feedback Surveys

IMPROVE FUTURE TRAINING SESSIONS WITH OUR FEEDBACK GUIDE

There’s no doubt that accepting and collecting feedback is important when providing any product or service, and corporate training is no exception.

And while any feedback is crucial, being strategic with how you ask for it can allow you to get the most useful information you can from your participants.

Ask the right questions and get effective feedback from your trainees with our training workshop feedback survey guide below. Copy and paste the most relevant questions into an experience management software like Survey Monkey or simply incorporate it into a feedback request email. Get more email templates for your trainees from one of our recent blog posts.

Remember, research has shown that to get optimal data, you need to consider how long you make your survey. Studies have shown that the longer the survey, the less amount of time your participants spend on answering each individual question. This means it is important to balance your survey to make sure there is enough questions to get all the information you are looking for, while still ensuring that there is a good amount of thought going into how each question is answered. While there is no magic number for how many questions you include in your feedback survey, 5-10 questions is a good rule of thumb.

FEEDBACK: WHY YOUR PARTICIPANTS’ OPINION MATTERS

The opinion of your participants experience in your training programs is highly valuable. Feedback is great for learning purposes, for suggesting improvements, and for inspiring creativity in your training programs. It will also help to determine which ideas are most valued for the company. There are a few different levels of feedback you should be seeking post-training.

Feedback

LEVEL ONE: REACTIONS

The most basic level of evaluation is the participants’ reactions to the training. To gauge this, you should be asking questions such as the following:

  • How did you like the training?
  • How did you like the trainer?
  • How did you feel about the training environment?
  • Did you think the training was useful?
  • Did you feel comfortable?
  • Did you feel as though you had ample opportunities to participate?

Level one questions can be asked in post-training surveys or even in the form of verbal feedback before or after the training session.

Reaction feedback is fairly easy to gather and measure. It should be gathered as close as possible to the desired time period. (For example, if you wanted to measure reactions to the first day of a workshop, you should gather reactionary feedback at the end of the first day).

LEVEL TWO: LEARNING

The next level of evaluation assesses how much the participant actually learned in the training session. It looks at two basic areas which are if trainees learned what we (the trainer) wanted them to learn, and if the training session was the experience participants wanted it to be.

This level is typically measured via tests immediately before and immediately after the training. It is important that these assessments are tied closely to the learning objectives.

Note that this level can be measured on an individual or group level. For example, you could have a verbal group-style quiz, or you could have individual assessments. When assessing group performance, however, make sure that each individual can be evaluated.

Since this level of feedback is very specific to the topic you are training in, we can’t generally tell you what you need to ask. However, with our Soft Skills Library, we provide post tests for each of our Soft Skills courses. This allows you to assess your trainees prior knowledge and what they have learned quickly and easily.

LEVEL THREE: BEHAVIOR

This level of question evaluates how trainees could see themselves applying the learning they took in and how it may have changed their behavior towards the training topic. Key questions for this level may include:

  • How quickly do you feel you can put your knowledge from the training into effect when you go back on the job?
  • Were the skills presented today relevant?
  • How confident do you feel you could correctly implement the skills you learned in the training?
  • Do you feel the training you received today will contribute to positive sustainable change in your workplace?
  • Has your outlook on the training topics discussed today changed?
  • Do you feel that you could confidently share the knowledge you learned in the training session with others?

It can be challenging to evaluate changes at this level, particularly with soft topics like communication and leadership. This is why it is important to develop a well-rounded, accurate evaluation system before training begins. This may need to be evaluated on an ongoing basis in a way that is not intrusive on their daily duties. It may take time for the skills learned in the training to be implemented and impacting their results.

LEVEL FOUR: RESULTS

The final level of evaluation is quantifiable results. This assesses the effect of the training on the person’s environment (their workplace, home, etc.). These questions (like the behaviour questions) may be better to ask a period of time after the training was conducted. Alternatively, you can ask questions that can help you gauge if the trainees can visualize themselves using what they learned in the training to help achieve quantifiable results in their organization.

Consider asking if your trainees can use what they learned to better their metrics in regards to:

  • Number of sales
  • Percentage of customer complaints
  • Timeliness
  • Absenteeism
  • Quality ratings and failures
  • Third-party inspection ratings (such as food and safety)

This is an important level of evaluation, as it is often what high-level executives look for when evaluating the training. They want to know numbers and figures, with proof to back the data up, also known as key performance indicators. This ensures that the goals of the business are being tied into the training.

These evaluation processes should tie in with day-to-day business procedures and not cause a lot of extra work. It is important, however, that the trainee knows what measurements are tied to the training before the training begins. This will help them apply context to the training and achieve better results.

As a final note, be careful of outside factors that can cloud ratings in your quantifiable data. For example, let’s say that you send your salespeople on training and you expect their sales to increase by 5% per month as a result. If the economy crashes two months after the training, your results will be clouded by outside circumstances.

ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:

Your goals as a trainer will impact the questions you will ask your trainees. This could be in regards to quantifying success, training logistics, knowledge retention or something completely different. Here are some other questions you may want to consider asking when gathering feedback on your training:

  • What is your main goal for taking this training?
  • What was the most useful part of the training?
  • What was your least favorite part of the training? Why was it your least favorite?
  • What are your biggest challenges in your role/organization?
  • Where did you first hear about us?
  • How would you rate the training space?
  • How would you rate the trainer’s delivery of the session?
  • How would you describe your experience of booking/registering for your training?
  • Is there any way we can improve to make our future training sessions better?

CONCLUSION:

We hope that this blog post sparked some inspiration for your next training session. Don’t forget to check out our Soft Skills Library for post-test quizzes on 140 training topics, and let us know of any feedback questions we forgot in the comments below!

Posted by Katelyn Roy on 

Running Your First Training Workshop? Ease your nerves with our tips and tricks

nervous man

nervous manIf you’re reading this, it means you are probably finally scheduled to conduct your first training workshop.

Or perhaps you are getting back into training after a hiatus.

Or maybe you are just looking to brush up on your training skills and confidence.

Regardless of your situation, we all get a little nervous time to time when it comes to presenting information to others. As a trainer, being the “expert” in the room can be intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be. Below are our tips and tricks for easing your nerves when running your training sessions.

Delivering Training

PREPARATION IS KEY

This may be the number one way to ease nerves when delivering your first training session. And the reality of this blog post is that many of the tips and tricks boil down to this one simple concept: preparation. By reviewing and developing training content ahead of time, we increase our familiarity with it. Familiarity decreases nerves. If you go into your training workshop with a clear and comprehensive knowledge of your content and how you want to deliver it, you will significantly reduce any fear of the unknown, because you have eliminated it. There’s no doubt that preparation for a training workshop is time consuming, and a lot of work, but it will be worth it when you are able to confidently deliver your training. And luckily, our training materials allow you to have a strong baseline for your content to jumpstart your workshops.

CONDUCT A TRAINING NEEDS ANALYSIS

Employee training is sometimes an obvious solution to fixing an organizational challenge. But ensuring you are training on the correct topics is crucial to making your workshop worthwhile. Sometimes training can be a quick and simple solution to overcoming organizational challenges, but it is important that it is done strategically and with intention. If you can understand the needs of your trainees, you can give them impactful, captivating training that you can feel confident in. Conducting a training needs analysis will help you ensure that you are deliver training that is actually conducive to fulfilling your organizational needs.

CONSIDER YOUR STRUCTURE

Structuring your training ahead of time will be your roadmap to successful training. Having an agenda for your training session can help you stay on track and even keep your trainees more engaged. By having a structure, you can provide preview statements. Preview statements let your trainees know how you will present your information overtime. An example of a preview statement is:

  • “First I will define Unconscious Bias, then we will spend ten minutes describing ways it may come up in the workplace, finally, I will go over how to create an Unconscious Bias awareness plan for your workplace.”

Making these statements using transitional words such as “First, second, third” or “Then, next, finally” and providing timelines keeps your audience in the loop on what is to come and can actually keep them more engaged throughout the training session. It also mentally prepares them to take in the information and can increase knowledge retention.

Considering your structure also means deciding what to include in your training to make it interactive. This could be through breakout rooms, gamification, quizzes, etc.

Another simple way to structure your training workshops is through asking questions. This is more than simply asking if your trainees have any questions. Consider check-up questions pertaining to the training as well. Questions could be as simple as:

  • “Has anyone ever heard the term unconscious bias before?”
  • “A few minutes ago, we went over signs of unconscious bias in the workplace. What was one of those signs?”
  • “Does anyone want to share how their last job handled unconscious bias?”

These simple knowledge checks throughout invite trainees to share their experiences and compare and contrast different ideas being taught. Starting with simple one-word questions then moving into questions that require more discussion will ease your trainees into meaningful conversation that complements your training.

BE PERSONABLE

When providing training for the first time, it can feel much easier to simply stick to the script of your training. When nerves are high, it can be intimidating to go off the path you’ve have had time to prepare and revise and feel confident in. However, being personable with your trainees, while it can require you to go a little off script, can be very helpful in building trust and rapport. It can be as simple as starting your session with some conversation. And it doesn’t even have to start with conversation on the training topics. Start by asking about their weekend, or their hobbies. Share things about yourself to contribute to the conversation and encourage them to do the same. This informal practice may seem trivial, but it accomplishes a few different things. It can open up the door to conversation and allows your trainees to feel safe talking about anything, including the training content. It also builds momentum for a conversational tone throughout the entire training session. If you make sure your trainees feel welcome to speak up at any time in the presentation, creates more engagement and allows you to get more feedback on your training. Furthermore, this eases any nerves for both the trainees and you as the trainer. By breaking the ice with these more approachable conversation topics, you can ease your way into topics relating to the training content by asking about their position in the workplace, their work experience, and how they most prefer to be trained. Making your participants comfortable with opening up in lower stakes conversations will make them more likely to open up in more advanced conversations pertaining to your training.

Another way to be more personable in your training workshops is through adding commentary to your training. If you are working off of premade training materials and PowerPoint Slides like ours, consider going beyond your reference materials to provide personal input. This could include the importance of certain parts of your training, how it may be relevant to your trainees’ roles, or personal stories of how it has impacted your professional life.

Remember, your commentary is the value you provide to the trainees. It’s the purpose of having you stand up there and deliver the training, rather than simply having everyone read the content themselves. This conversational tone is what will make your workshops memorable.

TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS

Like we said earlier, when you are delivering training to a group of employees, you are the “expert” in the room. To get to where you are, you have built some creditability and have developed a strong awareness of the topic you are training on. Despite all this, a lack of confidence in trainers is all too familiar. This can lead to imposture syndrome, which can result in underexplaining your training content due to low confidence, which will make your training less effective. Building confidence may be the most important step other than preparation in easing your nerves for your first training workshop (mind you, preparation builds confidence, so they go hand in hand).  The reality is that you are the trainer, and your input means something. Be sure to remember that going in and the confidence will grow overtime with experience.

LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES

It is crucial to give yourself grace when conducting training for the first time (or when doing anything for the first time for that matter). In your first training session – and probably in training sessions to come – there will be moments where things don’t go according to plan. Even if you have done everything listed above to help prepare you, there will still be external circumstances that may impact the delivery of your training. Once you accept this and willingly prepare to have to sometimes solve problems on the fly, you will confidently be able to deliver your training no matter what gets thrown at you. And don’t forget, feedback is your friend.

CONCLUSION

We hope this blog post has helped you feel better equipped to deliver your first training session, or ease your nerves about future training sessions.

Originally posted by Katelyn Roy on 

YOUR QUICK GUIDE TO ANGER MANAGEMENT IN THE WORKPLACE

Angry Man
Angry Man

As a Courseware Developer, Maria Eagles identifies the needs of trainers and designs/creates training and development programs accordingly.

In this week’s blog post, she gives us her quick guide to
anger management in the workplace.
Corporate Training Materials

Anger is complex and often a misunderstood emotion that goes beyond simply being mad. Anger is a natural response that follows a pattern of phases, and can transpire from many factors, including other hidden emotions.

Anger Management training in the workplace can help employees increase their self-awareness and self-management when it comes to anger. This can positively contribute to employee morale, conflict resolution, and creating an overall improved workplace culture.

MYTH BUSTING: COMMON MYTHS ABOUT ANGER, DEBUNKED

Anger in a complicated emotions that brings up many different associations and assumptions in people’s minds. For clarity, below is some common myths about anger, debunked:

  • “Anger needs to be ‘unleashed’ for it to go away.” – It’s true that anger needs to be expressed to relieve symptoms. However, expressing anger in verbally or physically aggressive ways is not the only way to ‘unleash’ anger. Nor is anger an excuse for a person to be aggressive. The expression of anger can be tempered by rationality and forethought. Venting anger does not necessarily result in the anger disappearing, although venting can relieve the symptoms. At times, processing personal experiences, seeing concrete change and genuine forgiveness are needed for anger to go away.
  • “Ignoring anger will make it go away.” – Generally, all kinds of emotions do not disappear when ignored. The anger just gets temporarily shelved, and will likely find other ways of getting expressed. It can get projected to another person, transformed into a physical symptom, or built up for a bigger future blow up. Some of our behaviors may even be unconscious ways of expressing anger. While there are situations when it’s inadvisable to express your anger immediately, the very least you can do is acknowledge that it exists.
  • “You can’t control your anger.” – This myth is related to the second one. As discussed earlier, the fight and flight instinct can make anger an overwhelming emotion. However, this instinct does not mean that you’re but a slave to your impulses. Awareness of anger dynamics and a conscious effort to rise above your anger can help you regain control of your reactions.
  • “If I don’t get angry, people will think I am a pushover.”’- It’s true that a person can lose credibility if they make rules and then ignores violations. However, anger is not the only way a person can show that there are consequences to violations. In fact, the most effective way of instilling discipline in others is to have a calm, non-emotional approach to dealing with rule-breakers. Calm and rationality can communicate strength too.GETTING TO THE ROOT OF THE ANGER

Anger is a normal response that is often experienced as a secondary emotion. This concept can be represented with the Anger Iceberg. The Anger Iceberg illustrates the idea that emotional reactions are not always one-dimensional, rather there are many hidden causes. Although anger may be presented and expressed on the outside, there are other underlying emotions that give energy to this anger.

Emotions that frequently prompt anger include:

  • Frustration – When a goal is blocked from reaching the desired result, individuals will become frustrated. This frustration will provoke anger as an emotional response, directed at the object recognized as the cause of the frustration.
  • Hurt/Loss – Individuals will turn to anger, as a substitute to feeling pain. Anger is a normal stage during a grieving process. This can be done consciously, or unconsciously.
  • Disrespected – This occurs when individuals are not given the respect that they deserve, or feel that they are always under attack.
  • Fear – Fear and anger derive from feelings of control; while fear will typically arise from a loss of control, anger is a means of gaining back control.
  • Shame – Anger is used as a defense response when individuals perceive they are being humiliated, criticized, or rejected. Anger is a way to distract us from feelings of shame.
  • Guilt – Reacting with anger is used as a way to protect our ego, and remove ourselves from the blame. Unfortunately, this means that blame is taken from within and placed on another individual.
  • Sadness – When we feel sad, we feel vulnerable and as though we have loss of control. To avoid these feelings of sadness, we will subconsciously shift into an anger mode to mask feelings of disappointment or discouragement.

Anger: Understanding the Cycle

Anger is a natural emotion that usually stems from perceived threat or loss. It’s a pervasive emotion; it affects our body, thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Anger is often described in terms of its intensity, frequency, duration, threshold, and expression.

Anger typically follows a predictable pattern: a cycle. Understanding the cycle of anger can help us understand our own anger reactions, and those of others. It can also help us in considering the most appropriate response.

  1. The Trigger Phase

The trigger phase happens when we perceive a threat or loss, and our body prepares to respond. In this phase, there is a subtle change from an individual’s normal/adaptive state into a stressed state. Anger triggers differ from person to person, and can come from both the environment or from our thought processes.

  1. The Escalation Phase

In the escalation phase, there is the progressive appearance of the anger response. In this phase, our body prepares for a crisis after perceiving the trigger. This preparation is mostly physical, and is manifested through symptoms like rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and raised blood pressure. Once the escalation phase is reached there is less chance of calming down, as this is the phase where the body prepares for fight or flight.

  1. The Crisis Phase

As previously mentioned, the escalation phase is progressive, and it is in the crisis phase that the anger reaction reaches its peak. In the crisis phase our body is on full alert, prepared to take action in response to the trigger. During this phase, logic and rationality may be limited, if not impaired because the anger instinct takes over. In extreme cases, the crisis phase means that a person may be a serious danger to himself or to other people.

  1. The Recovery Phase

The recovery phase happens when the anger has been spent, or at least controlled, and there is now a steady return to a person’s normal/ adaptive state. In this stage, reasoning and awareness of one’s self returns. If the right intervention is applied, the return to normalcy progresses smoothly. However, an inappropriate intervention can reignite the anger and serve as a new trigger.

  1. The Depression Phase

The depression phase marks a return to a person’s normal/ adaptive ways. Physically, this stage marks below normal vital signs, such as heart rate, so that the body can recover equilibrium. A person’s full use of his faculties return at this point, and the new awareness helps a person assess what just occurred. Consequently, this stage may be marked by embarrassment, guilt, regret, and or depression.

After the depression phase is a return to a normal or adaptive phase. A new trigger, however, can start the entire cycle all over again. Some people also skip certain phases, or else they go through them privately and/ or unconsciously.

CONTROLLING ANGER: ACTIONABLE STEPS

Since anger is an instinctive emotion that comes unbidden, we often do not have a choice in whether we would be angry or not. What we can do however, is take control of our anger when it comes. Anger management is not about suppressing your feelings of anger, but rather to find meaning behind your anger and determine healthy ways to express this anger. Uncontrolled anger can be extremely problematic; thus, it is important to find strategies to keep anger in check. The more you practice the strategies of gaining control over your anger, the easier it will become.

Relaxation techniques to control anger include:

  • Breathing Exercises – Deliberately controlling your breathing can help a person calm down. Ways to do this include: breathing through one’s nose and exhaling through one’s mouth, breathing from one’s diagram, and breathing rhythmically.
  • Meditation – Meditation is a way of exercising mental discipline. Most meditation techniques involve increasing self-awareness, monitoring thoughts, and focusing. Meditation techniques include prayer, the repetition of a mantra, and relaxing movement or postures.
  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) – PMR is a technique of stress management that involves mentally inducing your muscles to tense and relax. PMR usually focuses on areas of the body where tension is commonly felt, such as the head, shoulders, and chest area. It’s a way to exercise the power of the mind over the body.
  • Visualization – Visualization is the use of mental imagery to induce relaxation. Some visualization exercise involves picturing a place of serenity and comfort, such as a beach or a garden. Other visualization exercises involve imagining the release of anger in a metaphorical form. An example of this latter kind of visualization is imagining one’s anger as a ball to be released to space.
  • Music – Some people find listening to music as very relaxing. The kind of music that’s calming differs from person to person; traditional relaxation music includes classical pieces, acoustic sounds, and even ambient noises.
  • Art and Crafts – There are people who find working with their hands as a good way to relax. This is especially true for people who feel their tensions in their hands. Drawing pictures, paper construction and sculpting are just some of the ways to de-stress when faced with an anger trigger. Arts and crafts are helpful because it keeps a person from obsessing on the anger while he or she is still in the recovery phase of the anger cycle.

CONCLUSION

Anger management is a process. It is impossible to remove anger out of our lives, but it is possible to find healthy outlets for this anger. Anger management involves being informed, self-awareness, taking control, and taking action. These changes take time and practice, however when you stay motivated with controlling your anger, you will have powerful, positive outcomes.

Did you enjoy our anger management quick guide? We’ve just updated our Anger Management course, making it more relevant than ever for your participants. There’s no better time to tackle anger management training in your organization. Learn more about this course or get started on your corporate training today.