Trainercraft – setting expectations


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?

If you are enjoying this series on “Trainercraft” then subscribe to this blog or sign up for my free monthly activities on my website.


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