Precious Gifts

giftsWith Christmas fast approaching (like, WAY too fast!) I truly feel its important amidst the hustle to stop and remember what gifts we give to those around us
not just at Christmas but all year round…. and I am not talking about certificates of competency, lolly prizes, early finishes or sharing our precious scented flip chart markersĀ (there are limits!!)

We are in the unique position of helping other achieve goals, supporting growth mindsets and hopefully helping create a love of lifelong learning in those we work with. If we were to think of how these things could be packaged up as gif
ts, I like the idea of Art Costa’s Habits of Mind as 16 nicely wrapped parcels.

My favourite gifts from the list that I like to share (with both learners and other trainers I work with) include these:

The Gift of Thinking about Thinking

I’m talking about expecting meta cognition to be an everyday part of training, and helping others develop the habit of doing this without conscious effort. I like to model it – talking out loud about what I am thinking as I do something, explaining why I am doing something a particular way. When you encourage learners and other trainers to do the same, it really helps highlight where they may be confused about something or how they understand something. It also promotes self correction, an important step towards mastery. This talking can also include that valuable self question of “If I did this again, I would do xyz differently”.

The Gift of Thinking Interdependently
I am a strong believer in the cooperative learning approach. There is much to be learnt from each other, not to mention the skills needed to work with others that is such a big part of 21st Century work places. As Michael De Montaigne said, “it is good to rub and polish our brain against that of others”. Choosing to include cooperative structures into training and working takes extra time and organisation. It may not relate directly to content learning outcomes, however in the big picture the time spent is a gift helping develop a bigger, transferable and important skill set.

The Gift of Questioning and Posing Problems
Anyone who has studied Bloom’s taxonomy can tell you that the higher order thinking skills focus on analysis, evaluation and creation. If as trainers and facilitators we can offer experiences that encourage learners to do this, they will have a higher level of understanding and greater mastery. I like using questions to draw knowledge from others as it increases engagement and allows for stronger connections in the brain. I also like the idea of creating opportunities to have others ask questions and pose problems to be answered by themselves or others around them. If we can get others into this habit, even if its just the question “how does this apply to me and what I do?” then that’s a pretty good gift.

The Gift of Wonderment and Awe
I saved this one for last! Being passionate about ideas, learning and relationships with others is a key value here at Brio Consulting. Often it is not the content that is covered that makes training memorable or have impact, its the feelings learners sense and remember. Enthusiasm, enjoyment and engagement is a gift that not all trainers and facilitators share with those around them, but I love for others to see how I feel about what we are learning. It definitely uses energy! I know at the end of each session I feel that I have been drained, but the enthusiasm and engagement in return from learners and those around me is a gift in return that fills my fuel tank back up. They say that this is a habit of mind that is usually “caught not taught”. What a great virus to be spread!

So, what gifts do you love to give?

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