Four lessons from Keith Johnstone for conducting training

Impro by Keith JohnstoneThose who speak with me about training or read this blog regularly will know I’m a fan of Keith Johnstone’s book Impro. I was fortunate enough that one of my best friends lent it to me when we were doing improvisation at uni, and it’s been a constant source of inspiration.

And before you think I’m talking about acting training, I’m not.

Corporate training, volunteer training, leadership training or sustainability workshops, Johnstone has valuable lessons to apply to all of these.

Not only is it full of his joyful philosophy on teaching and the theatre, but it’s enjoyably well written too.

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What I learned about communicating climate change at Climate for Change

Conversation squareWhen I came to Climate for Change we were just finishing focus groups, and I was there for two design iterations of our gathering program. This was a great chance to get feedback and reflect on effective ways to engage people on climate change.

Some lessons we learned the hard way, some were thankfully passed on by the many wonderful people I encountered along the way who generously shared insights, knowledge, and critical thinking with us. (thank you, you know who you are!)

Here’s 6 takeaways from my six months at Climate for Change.

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How do you answer a tough question?

Getting asked a tough question
Photo Credit: US Department of Education, CC-BY

You’ve done the preparation, you know exactly what you want to say, and then it happens… someone asks you a question and it’s got you stumped. Everyone looks at you waiting for the answer. What do you do?

When I first conducting training (and often anything where people expected me to bring knowledge to the table), it was easy to feel that I had to have all the answers. The fear that we might be embarrassed by a question can easily put us into a defensive, know-it-all mode. Continue reading “How do you answer a tough question?”