To say I was shocked to hear his opinion was an understatement.
“Too much fun.”
Yes, he actually said workshop participants were having “too much fun.”
It was something I had never considered before.
I had always run my training workshops in a way that encourages creativity, laughs, and fun because participants stick with you throughout the entire workshop that way. Whether it’s 30 minutes, 2 hours, or a full day, if participants are engaged and enjoying themselves they stay alert.
Staying engaged and alert results in participants absorbing and recalling material better.
An environment where participants learn through creative discussion, analysis, practice, and application. An environment where the facilitator is not the center of attention. An environment where participants are moving regularly. This is an environment where participants will develop. This is learning participants will remember.
But to the colleague who observed my workshop, it was too much fun.
He would prefer a workshop where he is the center of attention. Where he controls the training session from beginning to end. Where he lectures and participants listen, nod, and take notes. Where participants sit neatly at their desks. Where participants ask questions and watch in awe as he provides amazing responses.
We’re talking about business, so it must be serious, right?
Here’s the thing, as a workshop facilitator you don’t have to go out of your way to be a clown. But you don’t have to go out of your way to be miserable either. Designing training activities to be engaging and allowing participants to discuss, explore, and be creative is essential to them retaining and applying their learning in real life.
Here’s the thing about “fun”:
- Fun gets participants engaged in their learning
- Fun helps participants forget distractions
- Fun encourages participants to work together
What do you think about fun in training sessions?