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.