The pandemic has been disastrous for the L&D industry. Barely eight months ago, we were creating such a positive impact on our learners. Training sessions are no longer as much fun now, nor as impactful as they used to be.
I want to present a controversial idea here. The impact we were creating wasn’t that great even back then. The situation was so rosy that it felt like we were doing a better job than we were.
This is what we had –
- A room full of participants who were not allowed to leave
- Checking mobile phones in sessions was looked down upon
- People worked from offices, and there were no distractions during the session
- Training sessions meant time away from laptop screens (which felt great to the participants)
We had people who participated, interacted, and engaged with us in the session because they had no other choice. We had ideal conditions and consequently received great feedback.
I am not challenging our skills or experience or value. In the past, maybe we got a little carried away with our success in training sessions and stopped pushing harder. Maybe we became a little complacent in classrooms because the strength of our personality was enough.
Now that we have lost the ability to use our body language and physical presence, no wonder we are all struggling a bit. Now that our voice is our only way of communication, we realize we are a little underprepared.
Now that our learners are no longer forced to be in the same room (and are often distracted and disinterested), no wonder engagement is low. Technology is often unreliable and that makes things even worse.
I want you to ask yourself, in absolute honesty, this question: Were we, as trainers and educators, truly making a real impact on our learners? The first step is to stop blaming the situation. Next, we stop living in a glorious past that might not have been that glorious to begin with. Finally, we accept that we all need to learn a lot of things.
This is a difficult situation we find ourselves in. I don’t have one specific solution that will work 100% of the time. No one does. I do have lots of advice, which when used will bring back some engagement in your sessions. I’ll be sharing them here frequently with you.
What is your biggest struggle in virtual sessions? How do you intend to solve it? Hit reply and let me know!