As the duration of working from home has lengthened our immediate excitement of skipping the commute is being replaced by a realisation of the things we are missing.
Top of this for me and countless others is the ability to learn from my colleagues. Leading transformational change is not easy and there is no single recipe to follow. When I hit a blocker I need new perspectives and the genius of my network to share the solutions that have worked for them in similar circumstances.
Increasingly I am seeing this as a requirement of those attending my training courses. When I ask someone why they want to join my class their answers include:
- I want to hear new voices – I’ve been following my own instincts but I want to benchmark my ideas against the experiences of others.
- I want an injection of expertise from someone who has much more knowledge and experience than me.
- I want to feel as if I am progressing and developing my knowledge – many have talked to me about their fear of stagnating whilst working from home.
- I want to share what my views and have them challenged and improved by others.
- I want to hear the outcomes from those who have tried other solutions so I can imagine the reaction I might receive.
- I want to hear the practicalities – how long do things take, who should I involve and what should I prepare in advance?
Of course, we have always had these needs but they are more urgent now that we don’t have the informal community sharing in the office. How many of us have benefited from informal coaching that we cannot relocate on Zoom?
Responding to a colleague who asks how things are going as we walk down the corridor, I share a problem. Describing the issue to someone else can create a new perspective, as does the questioning and sharing by my co-worker. I return to the problem re-energised and with at least one new direction to try.
Training courses should provide these opportunities, from the trainer, during the discussions and in the breakout rooms. Recognising how important this informal learning and support is to the well-being of others makes me proud to run my courses. It also inspires me to attend courses for myself.
Let me know why you benefit from attending courses, so we can collaboratively build our motivation for learning.