Looking Back to Move Ahead

By January 31, 2020March 29th, 2021LTEN Focus On Training


Looking Back to Move Ahead


The facilitation journey can seem like a whirlwind.

Now seems like a good time to pause before jumping into 2020 kick-off meetings and other projects to challenge ourselves to see what, if any, lessons and insights we may have accumulated this past year.

With that in mind, here are some questions to spark your thinking:

  • What was an example of me at my best while in front of the room? To what factors do I credit that success? What can I do to ensure more of those highlights?
  • What facilitation/presentation challenges did I face? What did I do to handle them? What could I have done differently?
  • What were some ways in which I prepared for being in the front of the room?  Can I make a correlation between that prep and the quality of the learner experience? If so, what can I do to be even better prepared?
  • What sort of things did I do to deliver truly compelling openings? How did I seek to grab the attention of learners and connect them to the possible value/usefulness of the content I delivered? Did I seek to go beyond objectives and agenda slides?
  • From a content or overall learning experience perspective, what have I done to improve conditions for learners? Have I gone back to medical/regulatory review and fought to simplify any PowerPoint slides, or pushed back on a service provider to rework their material in ways that would benefit learners?
    Remember, we are ideally learner advocates — and should always operate with their needs in mind. It is too easy, however, to simply execute our  regular duties and skip over the extra effort.
  • How did I do when facing reluctant or skeptical learners? Did I try to convince or sell them on the content, or did I engage them to explore their concern and ask how I might be helpful?
  • What coaching/feedback did I receive from others? How did I handle my response to that feedback (did I make it a pleasant, energizing exchange so that the other would be willing to do it again)? What have I done, if anything, to incorporate that feedback? If I’m struggling to implement, with whom  might I speak?
  • What have I done this past year to invest in myself and to enhance my front-of-the-room abilities? Will I commit to participating in a webinar or workshop/conference in the coming year? Will I identify areas of improvement and seek out someone to help hold me accountable?

The facilitation journey can seem like a whirlwind — it’s often moving at the speed of light between one big deliverable and the next. If we fail to stop and take stock periodically, we may miss opportunities to lock in learnings and proactively shape  behaviors.

If you really want to maximize the potential of this exercise, please consider discussing your answers/findings with your manager. It might serve as an effective collaboration opportunity.

Cheers to your hard work this year!

Brian Lange is with Perim Consulting and serves as lead facilitator for LTEN PrimeTime! For Trainers Core and Masters Workshops. Email Brian at



About LTEN

The Life Sciences Trainers & Educators Network (www.L-TEN.org) is the only global 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization specializing in meeting the needs of life sciences learning professionals. LTEN shares the knowledge of industry leaders, provides insight into new technologies, offers innovative solutions and communities of practice that grow careers and organizational capabilities. Founded in 1971, LTEN has grown to more than 3,200 individual members who work in pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device and diagnostic companies, and industry partners who support the life sciences training departments.

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