About participants in trainings: The participant looking for universal and guaranteed solution vs. The E-R-S participant


What do you do, when, during training sessions, you are asked absolute questions expecting for absolute answers?

For example: Mihai, what techniques should I use to get guaranteed success?

Uniformly, I always honestly answer with another rhetorical question: Is there a technique that can be applied in any area, with any kind of client and in any situation for 100% guaranteed success?

Let’s be honest, there is no such thing! And even if it would be like this, how the world with such perfect techniques would look like? If we engage in an imaginative exercise, we can easily acknowledge that every company would find out this „secret”, would use it and, therefore, it would diminish its value, its impact.

In the mental process of generating such a question the fact that we are looking for shortcut to solve problems is very interesting. It is easier to be told by others what to do and then to apply the proposed method and enjoy the results. Even more, this relieves us from the responsibility of our actions. We can say any time that we have tried and the method or the technique failed. But where is the cognitive challenge of learning, the one that makes us evolve, develop, be truly „Empowered”?

I’m not saying that standard techniques are bad, on the contrary, they are a good guiding of our actions. But they shouldn’t be unquestionable. Any theory or study is just a beginning point of the journey. It is your responsibility to see how it fits in the environment you work, your clients’ characteristics, and, especially, your manner to work.

The challenge appears when you have access to multiple methods that proved to be efficient in various areas and you have to decide on your own which one fits. An even more challenging situation is when you develop your own theories and combinations of theories according to your clients.  And here I refer to any kind of process, sales, negotiation, conflict management, etc. Only than when we can say we are „Resourceful”.

I am quite skeptical about the trainers coming in the classroom to present someone else’s theories, or even theirs, to be the one to offer answers to almost all, or even all problems. A participant may become „Spectacular” when he processes his options, takes his own decisions and acts originally. Every one of us has internal resources that we have to activate with a little driver, sometimes coming from outside and our meaning as trainers is exactly this: to facilitate the learning process and self-discovery and not to impose models as unquestionable. Especially because for every theory, very innovative in the beginning, it is only a matter of time until a counter-theory is created.

The most important benefit a participant may obtain from a training session is to generate his own questions about his work, in order to improve it. This way, we can say we generate changing and authentic learning processes.

What was the last powerful question you asked yourself and looked an answer for? What did you learn?

Written by:

Mihai Baciu, Senior Trainer at Trainart

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