What to include in a 200 or 300 level training

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What to include in a 200 or 300 level training?

Question: “I’d like to design a 200 or 300-level course, how do I assess the learning needs of participants?”

Answer: The 200-level workshops are for going to the next level. You may want to think about learning outcomes and start with “what would you do if?” since you already have the foundation laid. Have them come up with three more difficult situations they want some peer feedback on. I would create not only High Five buddies, but also a core group or a cohort of four to five people that meets a few times in the session.

You can begin in the large group, sharing one or two examples where someone shares a scenario, and everybody writes down what they would do and then you discuss. I recommend having PAIRS on the slide to reinforce it and also have it in the packet again. After one or two scenarios with the large group, put them into small groups with ten to fifteen minutes where they can work through two or three scenarios. Alert them every five minutes so that they keep moving through the examples.

After having participants to enter from “what would you do if?” then talk about times they didn’t react effectively. You may want to offer my four Fs; fight, flight, freeze, flounder, so they can talk about situations they did not handle as effectively. This can help create a learning environment where it’s okay to not know everything.

Even though it’s called a 200-level, it still needs humility. Once you have had them talk through this a bit, ask them to write out a situation they did not respond to very effectively. Then you can fold it up, trade it, and bring them back to that same group to read the notes aloud or read all twenty aloud and then invite people in the small group relate in. You’re not asking them to fix it, but to say “yeah, I had that situation too, and I have felt this”. Then have then identify possible ways to address similar situations in the future.

I would also focus on the Unproductive Privileged Behaviors and Attitudes worksheet and have people in privileged affinity spaces identify and share about which ones they have panned, which ones they have done, and ways to effectively interrupt these behaviors and attitudes in ourselves and in others.

For a 201 or 301 level workshop, you may want to use triggers work from my book, Navigating Difficult Situations, with a focus on their reaction. You could focus on how you navigate your own reactions to situations where you trigger yourself into the four F’s and then teach them some of the skills to navigate themselves.

The 300-level could be the next step. It could be based around what to do when someone else is triggered. There are a lot of tools and skills both in the book, Turn the Tide, and also in webinars, Navigating Difficult Situations.

If someone is at a 300 level, then I would want them to be doing role play scenarios and “what would you do if?” examples. Sometimes in 200 and 300-level groups I still have them come up with a scenario that’s relatively difficult. Not something that needs HR intervention, but on a scale of how difficult (zero to ten) like a three or four.  Something that can be resolved with a few interactions, some sharing, some interrupting, some dialogue.

I would have each group come up with a demonstration, where they develop to the point of conflict or when things get tricky, and then in pairs of two teams, team A does their demonstration to the point of conflict, while Team B has a moment to write down what they might do. Then you can discuss what they might do. After the discussion, team A redoes the demonstration with two people from team B who have volunteered to be the facilitators. The facilitators then try to figure out how to navigate. After they have completed the demonstration, you debrief it and then you switch.

Team B shows their situation up to the conflict, Team A gets to write down what they would do, talk about it, etc. Notice that I am scaffolding the capacity for them to do it. Now, when you have Team B redo the scenario, you know they’ll probably throw in a few more things, and it can be one person or two who engage and try to work through it. Then, again, you’ll debrief it.

The live role-playing activity encourages movement from “what would you do if?” to then practicing it, debriefing, and getting more tools for navigating increasingly difficult and triggering situations.

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