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If you are not aware you can’t appreciate it

Let’s say it differently: if you don’t reflect on your achievements you don’t learn (and you can’t take advantage of your proficiency), this is to say:  if you are not conscious you are in training you do not recognize it and you cannot take advantage of it. And I observed this (not so) strange phenomenon many times.


The easiest example is the most frequent: if I do not put some slides in a webinar, the webinar disappears, attendees do not feel comfortable with other supports or techniques. So I never forget to prepare a  few slides as robust support in online meetings: once again the cover makes the book.

Then I understood the importance of pointing out again and again, in different ways, what we are going to do: for instance, if a learning session is going on, I remember it several times. Otherwise, frequently somebody asks me when we start the lesson, the training, the session… when we start to learn. Recently with a colleague, we facilitate a participation laboratory for the employees of a public social enterprise. The main aim was to reflect on the hard experience we had to cope with during the lockdown. A side aim was to practice and to get an acquaintance to Zoom as a platform to take part in and to run meetings. We decide not to stress the training on Zoom, but to opt for an immersive experience, offering meeting by meeting tips and tricks to feel more comfortable with Zoom and to learn with an experience-based approach. Reading the final feedbacks some attendees underlined the lack of structured support in using Zoom when, by the contrary, we had offered many small and gradual lessons. So, once again we thought that if you do not strongly highlight what your intentions are, what you do want to reach, the learning experience flows away even if the proficiency remains.

Maybe two small actions can help to settle the appropriate contest of active and not-so-structured learning:

  • at the beginning of the meeting we can propose a rapid exploration of learning expectations (it is enough to ask to express ourselves with a hashtag word or a metaphor which fixes the main idea that everyone has in his/her mind), and
  • at the end of the meeting once again we can ask – in a fast round-table – which are the most fruitful lessons acquired.

So, to summarize: for appreciating the learning travel, it is necessary to be mindful of the participants’ consciousness regarding the contest and the tasks we are working on together. 

By Graziano Maino

I work as an advisor for organizations interested to develop cross-sector collaboration and as an auditor of legal compliance systems.
I am a member of Pares – consultancy and research professional co-operative.

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