Wondering if You’d be Good at Running Workshops?
When I’m talking to people about how to teach, there can come a point when there’s a general feeling that you can tell who in the group is going to be great at running workshops, and who might struggle. But here’s the thing – the things that make you great at running workshops? They’re mostly invisible.
There are some people – extroverts usually – people who are expressive and eloquent and sociable – who we tend to look at and imagine ‘they have what it takes’. But if there’s one thing I know through years of experience – it’s not always these people who run the best workshops.
When people have that kind of natural confidence it can (not always, but often) lead to a little bit of a slap dash approach. They don’t prepare thoroughly, their materials don’t show attention to detail, they’re too busy talking about themselves to be truly engaged with the class.
Meanwhile people who are patient, empathetic and thorough, might be less obviously the star of the show, but they are more likely to realise that teaching isn’t about them, it’s about their audience.
The people who are best at running workshops are the people who have self awareness, who know their own strengths, and their own weaknesses, and make sure that they’re prepared. That kind of sounds straightforward – but actually hearing honest feedback is probably one of the most uncomfortable things we can do.
The good news is that once you’ve done that, pretty much all the skills for running workshops can be learned.