A recent feature in Forbes Magazine by Brandon Busteed stated that ‘Corporate Education will never return to the classroom’. See link below.
Whilst the writer recognises that there will be exceptions, he thinks it’s become clear that any type of education and/or training that can be done online will from now on ‘ALWAYS‘ be done online.
As a 20-year experienced facilitator of results focussed training workshops in Leadership and Management, Professional Selling and Developing Customer Service Excellence I must admit the article induced a cold sweat and an uncomfortable night’s sleep.
But having given this premise some more thought….
Let’s take Brandon’s thinking a little further and apply it to everyday life….Let’s see if it stacks up.
- Should ‘Bars, Pubs and Clubs’ close their doors forever because you can drink from home much cheaper?
- Could we dramatically reduce holiday airport congestion by sitting on our sofas watching exotic vacation destinations on our pixel perfect ultra-realistic TV’s?
- Who needs the expense of a car when groceries are just an online ‘click’ away and can be delivered to your door?
- Oh, and why bother travelling to visit family and friends when you can catch up on Zoom in the comfort of your own home?
OK…. So I might have taken this a bit far but I do get what Brandon is saying. I just think it needs a little more context.
Growth of online learning…
Online learning has grown in use over the last few years and the current global situation has and will continue to aid its acceleration. And there’s no doubt that online mediums do offer a number of real time solutions. But are they solving a problem or merely offering an alternative to what’s already available? And does ‘online’ suit all learners and learning styles?
In answer to those questions here are some immediate thoughts that spring to mind…
- How engaged are online learners and do they have the self-discipline and organisational skills to take part?
- Does online training delivery create a monologue or a dialogue?
- Do individual participants miss human interaction?
- Are they able to recreate the energy we feel with personal ‘Face to Face interactions?
Although ‘Online’ offers a range of benefits that suits an environment of incapacitation such as now with the COVID19 pandemic, like any other discipline it needs to be absorbed into the overall learning environment and considered as an ‘Optional’ solution rather than a panacea for the future of teaching itself.
What is known and readily accepted is ‘Face to Face’ workshops facilitated well can and will increase the sharing of ideas, encourage deeper exploration of challenges faced and strengthen the bond between colleagues and participants.
How quickly have we all adapted to the ‘new’ Zoom environment?
From ‘Team Meetings’ and ‘One to One’ catch ups to ‘Live’ pitches and presentations, with the onset of COVID-19 many businesses have been forced to move these communications online. Zoom alone has seen a 535% rise in daily traffic and has increased the founders net worth by over $4bn since the virus began.
When working remotely there are questions and scenarios, we must consider such as:
- Are managers ‘checking in’ or ‘checking on’ their teams
- And are team members comfortable about appearing online and allowing viewers into their homes?
Appearing online is not easy for some. It is estimated over a 1/3 of the population are affected by ‘Technophobia’ an abnormal anxiety or fear related to the affects and use of technology. A situation undoubtedly mirrored by most other countries.
It’s well known that Increased stress levels can cause panic disorders, especially when faced with ongoing situations beyond our control or we are unable to avoid. The feeling of exposure, increased by ‘being on display’ can negatively impact the voice, breathing, even body language. These being the most significant and critical factors in determining and/or interpreting ‘meaning’ from an individual’s communication.
Symptoms of ‘stress’ can often give viewers a totally wrong impression of a person. Something that could result in an having a detrimental effect on one’s ability to progress or succeed. And when it’s ‘Live’ there’s no going back!
Exhausted from Zooming?
A recent article from the BBC entitled ‘The reason Zoom calls drain your energy’ suggests that video calls require more focus as we must work harder to process non-verbal cues like facial expressions, tone and pitch etc. Paying more attention to these consumes more energy and its these additional stresses that tend to leave us inexplicably exhausted at the end of these online meetings.
When communicating ‘Face to Face’, silence creates a natural rhythm, whereas a video call creates anxiety around the technology used and the need to deliver your content or contribution perfectly.
These factors coupled with knowing everyone is looking and listening to you adds to the ‘Social Pressure’ by creating an urgency to deliver accurate and/or relevant content coupled with the feeling that you need to perform.
So how ‘Do’ you excel in this new paradigm…?
You can read the article here:
Step 1 – Overcoming ‘online’ presenting F.E.A.R.
We’ve all seen statistics about the fear of presenting, something I often cover in my workshops.
The ‘FEAR’ of forgetting our words or embarrassing ourselves in public becomes ’Very Real’ as we tend to imagine all the things that could go wrong. This is compounded by our brain that acts on our thoughts and fears often bringing them into reality. Fear is often based on a misperception.
We position F.E.A.R. as an acronym for ‘False Evidence Appearing Real’…….although some participants create their own ‘FEAR’ acronym….. Forget Everything And Run!
Online learning that does get results!
Over the last few weeks there’s been an increase in enquiries for presentation skills coaching sessions. You can find out more here:https://train4results.com/services/coaching/
Delivered online with pre-emailed tasks and meeting notes the first session provides a framework of best practice ‘What to say’ and ‘How to say it’, addresses FEAR and provides hints and tips like “what to do if you go blank or your mouth goes dryer than the Gobi desert”
Follow up sessions develop ‘real’ presentations that have to be delivered, with opportunities to practice coupled with constructive feedback. Presentation competence is reinforced by a strong ‘how too’ framework, whilst ‘confidence’ is created in a relaxed atmosphere and supportive environment.
A remarkable change can be observed between sessions, it’s great to receive follow up texts and emails from participants about the difference the coaching sessions have made and the positive feedback they’ve received from their online audiences.
So, a few questions to ponder:
How is your online persona being perceived by your team, prospects or customers?
Do you think online will replace the experiential environment of face to face classroom learning?
How could you benefit from a presenting coaching session?
You can read about our approach here: https://train4results.com/about/
I’d love to hear your thoughts..