As you all know, I am a trainer. You may think I must speak a lot inside the training room. Actually, I am so lazy that I intend to speak less and ask trainees to learn by themselves. Joking~, teaching is a serious thing. I can't mislead or neglect my trainees. I use question strategy to help me speak less but get more.
When I started my trainer role six years ago. I showed my speaking talent sufficiently during the training. I always kept talking from the course beginning to the ending. The most common feedback I got from trainees were”WOW, your voice is so melodious that I can’t help sleeping”or”you are so awesome, you delivered the course so fluently that without watching any materials” or”you caught all my sight that I didn’t dare to move my eyes away”. Let me ask two questions. Do you think that was good for a trainer? Do you think that was good for trainees? The answer is no. At least, from my own side, l was getting tired by delivering the same content again and again. Talking talking and talking, this is the school teacher's style, did you like it when you were at school? Did you learn well? I think most of the answers are no.
After I received training for trainer and practiced training skills many times. I found an effective trainer dosn’t need to talk too much. If there is a large section of information I need to deliver. I choose to ask related questions or draw some pictures or design a self-exploration activity or something else. Lecture is the last thing I would do. The question strategy is the most useful one. For example, If I played a video. Six years ago, I might explain what the video told us directly. But now I may ask series of questions, one question links to another one.
“please tell me what’s your feeling about this video”
”Do you have any familiar stories or feelings to share with us”
”Do you know why they did this”
”Is there any other method to deal with this situation”?
If you are the trainee. How do you feel after trying to find out these answers by yourself ? How do you feel if you get sincere praise from trainers and other trainees. You are fully involved in the training. You will not forget the information you discovered by yourself. And most important of all, you feel the respect. This good feeling will make you more confident and more passionate. So what is the value of being confident and passionate? Sorry, I can’t stop asking.
The question strategy also make the communication between my son and I more effective, I don't want to be a bla bla mother. One day my son was watching the safety education video. I was busy doing housework. I heard some words from the video occasionally. And realized that this video was not easy to be understood by a eight years old kid. It is about teenagers’ suicide. Which talked about the brain development and psychology. But I had no time to make some explanation. When my son finished the watching.
I asked him:” can you understand?”
“Very little” my son said.
“Do you think it is weired if a kid want to commit suicide? I asked.
“No, it’s very common while the child is becoming teenagers.” My son also gave me some reasons related to brain development and psychology.
I continued my question:” what can you do if you want to commit suicide?”
"I will calm down myself first and then blablabla "
Except for some information from the video, my son also added his own opinions.
Sorry I can’t remember what my son’s exact answers were, I only asked three questions. But my son’s statements sounded reasonable. I believe he has achieved the training goal of that safety education video, with the help of my questions.
Please let me ask one more question. Could you find other benefits of question strategy from my son’s story? I am sure you will give me many different answers. And some may beyond my expectation and surprise all of us.
Asking questions to lead the trainees to complete the study, will make the same training content turn out to be different classes. I feel good because I am the editor, trainees feel good because each of them is the leading actor. If we get initiative, confident and passionate teammates, we can get more. So when you are coaching or teaching, please try to save your energy to ask powerful questions, you will speak less and get more.