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5 Instructional Techniques for Building Climate and Rapport

Posted by Steve Flanagan on 3/24/14 4:00 AM
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When participants first arrive at a course, they have doubts, concerns, and fears. Many don’t know what to expect or even why they are there. It is critical that instructors work hard to build climate and rapport to help participants feel connected and as comfortable as possible, as soon as possible.


Here are five instructional techniques that I have always found helpful in building climate and rapport:

1) Welcome participants

Greet participants at the door as they arrive; welcome them as though they are visiting your home. Let participants know where they can sit, where they can get coffee, and the location of the restrooms.


2) Make participants feel safe

Let participants know the training room is a risk-free, non-threatening environment. It is a place to try new things and it is okay to make mistakes.


3) Keep it fun

Plan high levels of participation and involvement. Fun in training should be based on course content. Make sure fun activities are not perceived as silly and do not adversely affect the self-esteem of the participants.


4) Build group cohesiveness

Arrange participants in small groups seated at separate tables. Use icebreakers that bring out shared experiences to generate a feeling of belonging. Use small-group work as often as possible.


5) Build learner confidence and self esteem

Set learners up for success by ensuring course objectives are achievable. Design exercises that allow learners to show their work, find value in the other participants’ work, and recognize achievements.


Climate and rapport do not happen on their own. Skilled instructors can often make it seem that way with the subtle application of course leadership skills. Climate and rapport will greatly increase by implementing these five tried-and-true instructional techniques. Give them a try and let me know your results in the comments section below!


You can also enroll in Langevin's 25 Creative Ways to Add Excitment to Your Training workshop to learn even more great tip and techniques!



Ultimate Guide to Making Training Fun

Steve has been a course leader with Langevin since 2000. He completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physical Education and dreamed of being a pro soccer player. Steve translated his love of soccer and physical performance to the corporate sector and became a trainer. He’s had the pleasure of training within the government, large corporations, and as an independent consultant. Outside of training, Steve’s two biggest passions are his family and guitars, which he collects and plays!

Tags: difficult participants, instructional techniques, tips-for-trainers

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