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‘In person’ adds so much more

‘In person’ learning is so energising. I had almost forgotten how much of a ‘buzz’ I got from working with people to facilitate success.

It had been March 6th of this year that I had delivered my last classroom event as everything went into lockdown within two weeks and travel became something only to dream about!!

But ‘hey ho’ we just realised that we had to adapt our learning and development to accommodate the new demands of a Covid-19 world and maybe this was overdue anyway.

If we were totally honest with ourselves the transition to more of a blended approach to learning was always on the cards as we looked to use the functionality afforded to us by technology and we started to understand more about how our audiences wanted to consume content and organise their learning and take it towards ‘on demand’.

So for those ‘dinosaurs’ amongst us, this was the nudge that we needed and I for one have enjoyed the move to the blended approach – not just combining different learning vehicles such as coaching and programme delivery, but the use of different delivery platforms.

Except that it wasn’t ‘different delivery platforms’ (unless you call zoom, BlueJeans and Google Meets as different platforms) it was the same platform – it was the video conference and nothing else.

So, imagine my delight when I was offered the chance to travel to London and work with the SMT of an ambitious and fast growing Healthtech start-up. I leapt at the chance, even though I was offered the choice about ‘in person’ or ‘remote’. That was a ‘no brainer’.

I had missed the travel. Yes, missed the travel. It’s not that I relish airport lounges or railway station waiting rooms it’s just that I get a real ‘boost’ from all that interaction – and no, I’m not the person that you want to avoid on public transport, I am respectful of people’s privacy. No, you’re right, I’m not alone in missing the travel or the interaction and it can get draining if there’s too much, but the absence of it is also a drain on your spirit and it saps your energy.

Not without some trepidation did I embark on the journey, not quite knowing what fully to expect. It was a pleasure – carriages that were not crowded, entire blocks of 4 seats to myself and taxi drivers who were thoughtful about your needs and happy to flex to make your journey as comfortable as possible. Wow.

But the whole point of me writing is to celebrate the chance to work ‘in person’. We had a really productive session that was full of the informed debate, discussion, innovative thinking that I am not sure would have taken place over VC. In fact, I am sure that it would not.

Because people were in the same room, they could challenge each other without it coming across as anything other than curiosity. It wasn’t conflict, it was a good old fashioned ‘thrashing out’ of different opinions in a way that was respectful of each other. Advocacy and enquiry were rampant as everyone explored the different perspectives.

… confident, caring, knowledgeable; handled the team dynamics very well; informative and fun.

Tailored advice and feedback to the individuals and teams as he got to know us better; personal.

Great at defusing tricky situations.

Respectful and caring Educator and a wonderful individual.

Extremely good facilitator of many discussions, valuing everyone in the group.

Clear presenter; good at bringing across the material.

Very good facilitator; great listener and a great sense of humour.

On a personal level I felt it was the first time that I had been able to draw a breath and think about all you discussed since the start of Covid. So, a huge thank you, the content, slides, interaction on chat etc was all brilliant.

Special kudos to him for creating the psychological space that enabled the group to publicly share feedback

In addition to the training material itself, Hans was able to provide deeper answers on specific topics that came from more experienced managers.

Super confident, had answers for everything or helped find them. Really, good. Pretty impressed!

Great speaker, leaving sufficient space for attendees to get involved in the discussions

Hans was an engaging facilitator and was able to both answer questions expertly and cultivate a healthy dialogue including the whole room.

Good sense of humour, effective at delivering content and soliciting questions from the audience.

Hans did great job in involving people to have discussion about the various issues instead of just presenting them, much appreciated!

Clear, engaging and committed to helping us – amazing facilitator