What Great Trainers Do: The Ultimate Guide to Delivering Engaging and Effective Learning

By Robert Bolton; Dorothy Grover Bolton | Go to book overview

22
Maintaining a Positive Learning Climate

As educators … we must recognize that students are not only intellectual but also social and
emotional beings, and that these dimensions interact within the classroom climate to influence
learning and performance
.

——Susan Ambrose, Michael Bridges, Michele DiPietro, and M. Lovett1

The trainer’s ability to create a positive learning climate is one of the crucial factors for success in leading a workshop. An encouraging environment lowers participant anxiety and fosters a readiness to learn, which sets the stage for a smoothly running workshop. When you’ve succeeded in generating a positive learning environment, you’re likely to overhear participants make comments such as the following:
“I was nervous about taking this training, but I actually feel quite comfortable here.”
“Usually I don’t say much in groups. This one is different. I feel like I can say whatever I want, even if I disagree with the instructor.”
“This is a great group. We’re all pulling for each other.”
Virtually everything a trainer does either helps or hinders the creation and maintenance of a beneficial learning environment. Using the skills and methods covered in previous chapters goes a long way toward creating a milieu that is optimal for learning. However, these guidelines warrant special emphasis:
Manage the physical environment.
Be prepared.
Make personal contact.
Be yourself; don’t take on the role of a stereotypical teacher.

-186-

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