I recently attended a training. I will write the summary notes of that soon but first I need to own something…I’m a really bad attendee in trainings. Don’t get me wrong, I love to learn but I find myself struggling and frustrated frequently. So I’m taking the time to really reflect on why:

  1. I often make the statement “you may hate me after this session” when I share the neuroscience findings about how people learn best. Turns out, I hate myself too.  I really struggle when I’m sitting in 90+ minutes of lecture and I want to do something.  I find my mind wandering and unable to process the information. Then I get annoyed with myself for not having discipline to listen – even though I know that this delivery is not ideal.
  2. This internal battle then triggers my critical side of my personality.  I know this is not a lovely part of my personality. Yet, I can’t stop the thoughts fast enough.  “Is this really adding value?”, “Why don’t we cover x?”, etc So I try to re-focus them towards something productive (the next one).
  3. I’m constantly analyzing exercises.  What works about this exercise? What is not working? How could I adapt this exercise? Is there another concept that would work for this exercise? Now this is not necessarily bad but for me, I start to loose focus on participating in the exercise, which is a distraction to my teammates.  Also, do I really get the full impact of the exercise if I’m going meta immediately?
  4. It is no secret that I’m a talker. So I find it difficult to hear questions in the course and simply sit and listen. It’s not that I want to take over, I just want to participate.  I’m wired that way. Thus, I’m constantly writing or trying to distract myself slightly so I don’t over participate or become an unwanted second trainer.  This one I’m relatively good at checking but internally I’m feeling the struggle during the entire session.

As I write this all down, I feel embarrassed.  I can logically know that this may apply to others; but for me, I feel the contradiction in being an advocate for learning but not being a very good student.  Now I could argue, that I am a good student in the right environments but that feels like an excuse.  I am not sure what the balance is but I do take ownership in my mindset during the session matters.  I have no intention of lowering my standards of good training styles but I have to work on reducing my critical reactions to allow for maximum learning possible regardless of the environment.

What do you struggle with in training sessions?

Tricia Broderick

Tricia Broderick

Tricia Broderick is a leadership and organizational advisor. Her transformational leadership at all levels of an organization, ignites growth of leaders and high performing teams to deliver quality outcomes. Tricia has more than twenty years of experience in the software development industry. She is a highly-rated trainer, coach, facilitator and motivational keynote speaker. Beyond her extensive knowledge and skills, her biggest offering is inspiring people to believe anything is possible.


  • John Miller says:

    I am the exact same way.

  • I find myself with the same split, observing the teaching techniques while trying to participate and learn!

  • Anjali Leon says:

    They say doctors make the worst patients and I think something similar applies to trainers / facilitators – we make the worst trainees / participants. I had never noticed being restless as a participant in a class until I became an instructor. But I think it is a good thing – it has helped me develop more empathy.

  • Becky Hartman says:

    Ditto! I would like to hear your input on the neuroscience tho.

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