The urge to self-improvement to genetic. From birth, we naturally develop and mature and that urge never totally disappears. As we master the basics of living, our attention turns to personal interests and we learn unique skills. Many of us focus on discovering and experiencing more of the meaning of life and this inevitably leads us to books and, often, to workshops and trainings.
Anyone with a long history of event hopping can attest to the serial frustration of going home after a peak experience weekend and re-entering normal life, trying to retain the thrill and succeeding for a short while, only to lapse back into familiarity.
When's the next seminar?
Having been a workshop attendee and presenter for most of my adult life, I've pondered this problem for decades and recently discovered what may be a solution. It's easiest to explain by describing the problem.
Imagine attending a weekend workshop with a top notch chef. Over the course of two days she shows you one kitchen marvel after another, baking and slow cooking and blending and garnishing. You sample her food and it's amazing. You go home determined to apply what you've learned and become a chef like her.
But, you can't. Why not?
1. She's worked at this for 20 years, you just had 14 hours of training.
2. She used 20,000 dollars worth of the best kitchen appliances. You have a blender.
3. Her work space was as big as your whole house.
and, most important:
4. She does this all the time.
But I've realized how easy this is to remedy and begun to implement it in my own programs. First, during the sessions, it's important to constantly apply what's being learned to the participant's personal situation. That's as easy as saying, "OK, imagine you are in your own kitchen. How would you...?" Next, let's get honest and realize that a weekend does not an expert make. It's up to the presenter to provide tools and practices and resources of all kinds for the participant to follow through with. Finally, the participant needs to commit to a changed lifestyle, devoting enough time to fully integrate what they have just been exposed to.
In a nutshell that is:
1. Apply learning during the presentation.
2. Leave with follow through resources.
3. Commit to learning and change your lifestyle.
If we can do this, then the next workshop becomes an upgrade, because we are already living the value from the one(s) before.