Three Things To Think About

By John Sleigh

In this activity, participants are asked to “think outside the box” about different ways that training content could be applied, and record as many application ideas as possible, with a minimum of three. Each participant then takes her ideas to a group session and develops at least seven useful ideas. From the total number of ideas collected, each participant picks three things that she could apply immediately.

Application

This activity can be used with any subject matter.
It can be used as a summary (to recap the training content) or as an introduction (to highlight situations where the skill could be applied).
It can be used just once with the content from the entire training session or repeatedly with the content from different sections.

Time

About 30 minutes. (3 minutes for each participant to list her ideas, 10 minutes to come up with a group list, 15 minutes to come up with a combined list, and 1 minute to write up three takeaways.)

Process

Introduce the training content: the activity may be placed near the beginning after a brief overview or at the end of a training session.

Ask participants to write down at least three application ideas for the content. This could be based on what they expect to learn from the session or what they have already learned.

Divide participants into work groups of four to seven people per group.
Ask each group to come up with a list of at least seven application ideas. These may be ideas brought to the group by individuals or new ideas generated from the group discussions.

Ask each group to report back their seven items. As each group reports each item, record it on a flip chart.

When similar ideas are presented, seek group consensus on whether the idea is new or a duplicate. Unless agreement is unanimous, treat the idea as a new one.
As flip chart pages are filled, post them around the room.

When all groups have reported back, ask each participant to write down three items that will have an impact on the way that they apply the training content.

Ask each participant to tell a partner how she plans to use one of the ideas.

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