My last blog was on setting objectives and so I thought I would follow up with “Setting Expectations”. This follows quite naturally from setting objectives – in fact by being picky with your stakeholders about the objectives, you set their expectations of what will follow. These expectations will be:
- You will be focussed on learner outcomes that make a difference to the organisation
- ROI will be something that can be easily measured, because you have planned it into the design
- Your workshops are organisationally focussed and not content driven
So how else might you set expectations? What about the learners?
The welcome letter/video/poster whatever you send beforehand to let them know details of what will be happening, is a great way to set their expectations such as:
- You will expect participation from them
- There will be time for their own questions
- You are interested in their objectives
- It will be a safe environment to be able to learn and try out new things
- If they put lots into the workshop they will get lots out, but only if they follow up
- What the objectives will be
Setting expectations in the workshop can be a little dull and has worked to varying degrees, in my experience. Then I discovered the “Clean language set up” and it sets expectations at a much deeper level than ever before! This is how it goes:
- At the flip chart stand pre-write the 3 questions and then glide effortlessly from one to the next
- Take care to write down EXACTLY what they say and do not change
- Do not explain what the question means
- Keep asking “Any thing else” once you have asked the questions
- The first question is: “In order for this workshop to be of value to you, it has to be like what?”
- The second question is: “In order for it to be like this (pointing to the previous chart), you have to be like what?”
- The third question is: “In order for you to be like this (pointing to the previous chart), others have to be like what?”
I have been amazed at the thought that has gone into answering these questions and the depth of the responses. It is a great way to contract with your learners and if you have not come across it before, but have encountered some tricky learners, it does deal with a lot of stuff!
Also I often start with a bold statement at the start of a workshop “This workshop will NOT make you great at customer service/selling/presenting etc…….It is what you do afterwards that will make you great!”
So how do you set your learners expectations and how do you manage them during a workshop?