June 2024 Newsletter

What's Pickleball Got to Do With It?

About ten months ago, I took up pickleball. Like many people who try this game, I’m truly hooked, and I now play several times a week. It’s often said that pickleball is easy to learn and challenging to master. In the quest to improve my skills, I decided to attend pickleball camp with the Better Pickleball people.

I just got back from the two-day camp, inspired and ready to put my new skills to work for me. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was delighted by how well-designed the experience was for different types of learners and communicators.

Here are the learning design elements that impressed me:

Before Camp

1) We received warm introductory emails introducing us to the coaches.

2) We were invited to a Zoom orientation session to establish expectations and review what we would need to bring to camp.

3) We were asked to review 11 short videos introducing the concepts that would be explored in more depth at camp.

4) We were encouraged to download the handbook and review it prior to camp.

During Camp

1) We listened to short lectures from two experts on pickleball strategy and the essential techniques to improve our games.

2) We observed demonstrations by both pros.

3) We actively practiced and drilled the shots recommended.

4) We received supportive and clear feedback from the four coaches present.

5) We had several breaks during the day to stay hydrated.

After Camp

1) We went home with individual action plans in which we were asked to identify the five actions we intended to take once we were back on our home courts.

2) We were introduced to other resources to support our continued development.

Overall, I think the design of the experience leveraged the strengths and interests of four distinct communication styles (Analyzer, Adventurer, Anchor, and Achiever). For example, as an Analyzer, I loved the analytical explanations about pickleball strategy followed by the opportunity to put them into practice. I noticed that a few of the Achievers were a bit impatient with all the talk and wanted to get right into action. The Anchors, who tend to be relationship-oriented, were curious about the other participants and spent time learning more about those they were playing with. And the Adventurers loved the variety of people they got to play with as the coaches regularly switched up who was playing whom on our eight courts. 

These four communication styles are also represented in any virtual training session we design or facilitate. If you’d like to learn more about how to make a virtual experience work for the diversity of people who attend, then join us at the next NetSpeed Nuggets session, You Get Me! Leveraging Communication Styles in Virtual Training, on Wednesday, July 10 (1:00 pm Eastern/12:00 pm Central/10:00 am Pacific). Presented by Cynthia Clay, CEO, NetSpeed Learning, this 30-minute session will help you meet the needs of the diverse participants who attend your facilitated online learning experiences. Register now to reserve your spot.

Training Tips: Adapt Your Training to Reflect Your Participants' POV

I recently led a workshop called Meeting Change with Resilience for an audience of ten leaders in a church that is undergoing a major transition. As I was reviewing the material, I realized that much of the content was designed for a corporate audience. The photos reflected corporate types in offices. The cases and examples reflected common organizational issues. The stories, as designed, would appeal to a younger audience in the middle of their careers. As I imagined what it would be like to facilitate the program to these ten leaders (many of them post-retirement), I realized that I needed to view the course content and key models through their eyes, roll up my sleeves, and get busy customizing the course for them.

If our learners don’t see themselves reflected in the images included in our materials, can’t relate to our stories, and don’t have a clue about our case examples, you (as the facilitator) and they (as the participants) are going to have a mutually frustrating experience. I spent several hours replacing the photos on the slides with people who looked like these leaders, changing the case examples, and writing new stories that they would find meaningful. When the workshop delivery was complete, they were inspired to take action. I was gratified that nothing caused them to feel that this course wasn’t exactly right for them. 

Adapting your training material to reflect your participants’ point of view may add extra time to your preparation, but it is the key to a successful training experience. 

NetSpeed Nuggets

Join us at the next NetSpeed Nuggets virtual session. This 30-minute, rapid learning session will introduce strategies and tactics that increase your effectiveness in the virtual workplace.

You Get Me! Leveraging Communication Styles in Virtual Training

Imagine attending a virtual training session where you felt understood and included. Your needs for reflection, social engagement, practical content, or creative idea generation were respected. You can create that experience for your learners by keeping their communications styles in mind. Some styles want you to get to the point quickly, some love time to get to know their colleagues, some need space to reflect or work independently, and others are most attracted to novel activities. By holding their diverse needs in mind, you’ll get their attention and keep their engagement.

Join Cynthia Clay in this 30-minute session as we explore how to leverage communication style differences in the virtual classroom. Based on the Communication Styles model from the NetSpeed Leadership management training program, this fast-paced, interactive session will give you practical tips and techniques to leverage communication styles when you train online.

Wednesday, July 10th

1:00 pm ET/10:00 am PT


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The September/October Virtual Facilitator Trainer Certification (VFTC) course is now open for enrollment.

This popular course has received rave reviews from participants as it provides a deep dive into best practices for virtual facilitation and design.

Now it's your turn to rock the virtual classroom! The September/October course opens on Thursday, September 12th with the first webinar on Thursday, September 19th.

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