The “Blue Peter” Approach to Training

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blue peterI had a really interesting experience last week. An organisation that I volunteer with were running a welcome night to give some newly trained volunteers the opportunity to mingle with some of the longer serving team.  They wanted to do something that was light-hearted, generate a bit of camaraderie and encourage people to talk to each other BUT of course it had to be cheap and cheerful.  I was more than happy to provide them with a range of ideas, many of which I had facilitated myself countless times.

In the end, they plumped for an exercise called “spaghetti tower” (you can download it from The Material Bank).

When I arrived at the session there were many jokes about whether or not I should be allowed to participate in the exercise and whether my team should be given a points “handicap” due to my insider knowledge.

Amidst much hilarity the exercise began.  My team and I (four of us in total) developed a strategy and got building.  It only took a few moments for me to realise that whilst I had facilitated this particular task numerous times, I had in fact never completed it myself.

As it transpired, watching others over the years build their spaghetti towers did not in fact give me any kind of advantage over the other teams on the night.  Out tower was really a very poor show! Another team built a brilliant tower.  And I ended the night being teased about my inability to complete the task even with years of experience!

Do you subscribe to the “Blue Peter” method of training where you try out everything that you are going to do in a session, or are you more a “suck it and see” sort of a trainer?

Let me know what works for you in the comments or on our twitter/facebook pages,



Founder of Zostera Ltd and The Trainers CPD Club. I've worked in L&D for over 16 years across both the public and private sectors.

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