Now, perhaps the titles I’ve just thrown out don’t sound that bad, but believe me, when you get into these situations, often taking place in small, cramped, overly-hot rooms, you’ll understand. The ideas are staid, the methodology outdated, and the pacing glacial. And you often leave them more confused and with fewer ideas than when you came in.
So what can you do to make these training sessions more pleasant, besides timing your days off to coincide or calling in sick? Well, there are many things you can do, but they might not make you the most popular with management.
- Bring Work: Whenever I know I have to sit through a long meeting that’s supposedly going to go over some new idea, or most likely rehash something I’ve known for years for the newer employees, I always bring a textbook, notebook and pen. I jot down ideas that I know will work while I listen to those that I know won’t.
- Bring Humor: I always throw out sarcastic remarks that make others laugh, and cut right to the truth. If the session is rubbish, I say it in such a way to make the whole situation more enjoyable for others. Believe me, no one wants to be there, and none more so than the presenter. I’ve done it before, I know.
- Bring Patience: These things always go over the time limit. And if you’ve got to listen to some kind of webinar that doesn’t even allow you to interact with the presenter, you’ll have to bring patience in extra amounts. Where I work, we always have meetings on Thursdays, which is my first day back from two days off. It’s especially hard to start the week on such a sour note.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there are often good ideas presented in ESL workshops and ESL training sessions, but they’re the exception to the norm. Don’t get caught in these draconian get-togethers unprepared; bring work, humor, and patience!