Monday, May 07, 2007

Group Facilitation Tip - Chunk It!

Group Facilitation Tip - Chunk It!
Copyright 2007 - Jennifer Britton. All Rights Reserved

This week's group facilitation tip is all about supporting learners with what they remember. Memory works in some interesting ways -- in a long program, we tend to remember those things from the start and the end, with the stuff in the middle often getting lost.

If you are a trainer, chances are good that your programs involve the transmission of hard data that you want participants to take away and remember. One way to support the learning function is to Chunk It!

What this means, is to chunk large pieces/blocks of information together in meaningful ways. For example, participants can be encouraged to chunk by:
* Similarity - putting those pieces of information together that are similar

* Using Mneumonics - Mneumonics are a favorite of mine. Can you list what SMART-E goals are? (See end of post for answer). Mneumonics use the start of a word to make a new word.

* Get participants to connect the information with real world examples. In my former work as a Business Studies Lecturer, I always found that providing everyday examples often made nebulous comments stick. Remember, you are working with adults who bring a wealth of knowledge and life experience of their own. If you can't come up with an example, I bet someone in the group can.

What other ways have you used to make learning and information stick? How else can we support learners to CHUNK IT? Please feel free to comment below.

And if you were holding your breath for the answer to SMART-E goals, here it is:
SMART-E goals are ever popular in project management and should be a common part of organizational language. More commonly known as SMART, I call it SMART-E. As you have probably heard a thousand times, goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timebound. I've added the last E for Exciting -- if goals are not exciting for individuals to achieve, what's the internal motivation to do so? If goals are not exciting, how likely is it that participants will actually follow-through?

Have a wonderful start to the week,

Jennifer Britton, CPCC, CHRP, CPT
Potentials Realized ~ Group Coaching Essentials
Email: jennifer[at]potentialsrealized[dot]com
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960

The next Group Coaching Essentials program starts next week on Wednesday May 16th (Wednesdays 12 - 1:15 pm EST). We will be meeting on May 16, 23, 30 and June 20th. If you are a coach looking to develop your own group coaching program, I hope that you will consider joining me for this two month program. Space is limited to 6 coaches this session. For more information about the program, click here.

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