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Building teams, helping them function coherently and sustaining them require the learning and development team or trainer to put in a lot of effort. Right from opening communication channels to creating focus on learning, and from collaboration techniques to solving group conflicts, training games can play a vital role in enhancing team skills and getting a higher involvement from each member.
To ensure that employees focus on learning while they attend trainings, seminars or conferences, develop some ''What did you learn?'' forms. Either attach or print them with the expense voucher and ensure that the employee completes it before getting reimbursed for travel/seminar expenses. This activity reinforces that the company is a learning organization and employees are learners. Thereafter, schedule a date on which the employee can discuss/impart the experience to his/her team members.
While designing the form, consider some ideas: a narrative of what you learned; a qualitative statement of what was of the greatest and of least value; a description of the barriers (time, space, money) that stop you from using what you learned; a list of people who should know about this learning.
To develop the skill of ''saying exactly what you mean,'' trainers can try a simple communication technique. He can start with a broad concept or word and, level by level, think of the concept components that are more specific. For example, desk, my desk; my oak and steel desk; my computer desk with the open leveler; my computer desk that I hate. This technique is effective in stripping away all the clouds, winds and rain from a high level term to the eye of the storm. As trainees try to get more specific, prod them with ''What kind of?'' ''Which one?'' ''Where?''
Effective communication is the foundation of effective problem solving. This little game can greatly enhance every team member's ability to communicate better, so play it often.
• Trainers must put in efforts to help teams function efficiently
• Training games result in higher involvement of team members
• They reinforce the fact that the firm is a learning organization
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Source: Arva Shikari, Special to Jobs & Careers
The writer is a freelancer