Tag Archives: training activity

Training Activity: Story in 6 Words or Less?

Can you tell a story in 6 words or less? Hmmm….let’s try:

She just left…I am exhausted.
Thank God, good things still happen.
We came. We conquered. We celebrated.
Hot fudge sundae. I am stuffed.
We kissed. She melted. Mop please!*
Find satisfaction for now, regret tomorrow.*

The challenge to tell a story in 6 words or less was posted on the ASTD National page on LinkedIN. What an interesting idea to paint a picture in a few words–leaving much to the imagination. As I read through the discussion posts, I wondered how we might incorporate this challenge into a training design:

4MAT Connect Activity (Step 1 of a 4MAT Training Design): Encourage the learners to reflect on their experiences around the training concept. Have them write a story about their experience in 6 words or less. Imagine learners reflecting on their experiences of “great mentor relationships” or difficulty in “resolving conflicts” or “being part of a powerful team”. What stories might they share in 6 words or less? What powerful dialogue might emerge as the learners explored their 6 Word Stories further?

Who are YOU? In 6 words or less, can you tell your story?

How else might we use a “6 Words or Less” Story Exercise?

*Posted comments on ASTD LinkedIn page

4MAT Training Opening Activity: The Difference that Makes a Difference

I took along David Rock and Linda Page’s book, Coaching with the Brain in Mind, on a recent trip to an off-site train the trainer program. This is an excellent “textbook” for 4MAT trainers interested in learning the brain basis for effective transformation of behaviors. Rock and Page reference Bandler and Grinder’s work on paradigm shifts calling them “the difference that makes a difference”. They go on to give us metaphors for this shift including, “a curtain lifted”, “a light went on” or “I’m seeing with new eyes”. As I read this, I thought what a great 4MAT Connect step for a design. For example, imagine opening with this as a Connect activity:

 “We have all experienced a moment when everything  shifted for us. Sometimes this is a radical shift in our life: a marriage, a birth or a loss. Other times, it is as subtle as comment that someone makes in passing. This is the “difference that makes a difference”. When has a difference made a difference in your life?

Where might you apply this?

A customer service training focused on the little things that make a big difference.

A goal workshop focused on how incremental improvements create the progress.

A creative thinking workshop illustrating how a simple shift in perspective can radically change the view.

In the 4MAT model of design, we emphasize the bigger concept that overarches the content. Concepts transcend the content. Where else might you apply the concept of a “Difference that makes a difference”?