Having delivered training classes myself, I am fairly familiar with a training room environment. As I’ve observed attendees, I’ve asked myself what the difference is between those who seem to learn the material compared to those who don’t, or don’t quite as well. The attributes that seem to be consistent among successful learners are: advanced preparation, active participation, and the ability to focus and avoid distractions.
Rarely have I had someone attend a training class that didn’t know they were going to attend prior to day one. Find out why you are being sent to the training. What skills/knowledge are you being expected to learn? If training material is provided prior to the class, review it. Familiarize yourself with the content and be prepared to ask questions.
Whether you are the one asking questions or the one capable of giving answers, everyone benefits through the active process of Q&A. It allows everyone in the room to evaluate whether or not they know the answer to the question. It also allows for additional explanation that can help to solidify what is being taught. If the instructor allows, ask questions as they come up, when it’s fresh in your mind.
While it can be hard to set aside your regular work to attend a training, do your best to leave your work at the door. The more you can focus on the material you are learning, the better. If you keep your phone next to you or your email notifications on, chances are you will be distracted every time a new one pops up. Make an effort to only look at emails, etc. when you have a break or after training hours are done for the day.
The next time you have an opportunity to attend a training, I recommend implementing the above strategies in order to get the most out of your experience. I believe you will come away feeling more satisfied personally, as well satisfying those who sent you to be trained.