The starting point for our project is to design an international train-the-trainer training program, which should be offered at all levels of learning according to Bateson in order to enable the most effective learning possible.
It was clear that this training should be of the highest possible quality and should form an internationally comparable training standard for all participating trainers from 7 countries (from USA to China). In addition, it was clear that this programme could only be implemented partially in face-to-face format for cost reasons.
When designing the programme, it was decisive for us and our clients that we wanted to place both the subject of knowledge building (learning level 0), the subject of behavioural learning (learning level I) and the subject of posture learning (learning level II) in such a way that we could create optimal learning opportunities for the participants.
In the first block of the training we focused on the topic of knowledge building. Together with the client, we identified the main learning topics and offered learning material for self-study so that the participants could work on their own in small learning groups. The aim was to build up knowledge about future training contents to such an extent that they could also apply the knowledge they had learnt to case studies: On the subject of conflict management, for example, the participants learned, among other things, the escalation levels according to Glasl. Finally, the participants were able to diagnose a described conflict situation “correctly” on the basis of Glasel’s escalation levels.
In the second block of the training, the new trainers learned relevant behaviours for the previously defined training topics. These were first used in game situations and later also in transfer situations. The behaviour was practised several times, the participants received feedback from an experienced trainer and applied the feedback again in the next step of the exercise. The learning method of experiential learning was carried out both in presence mode and online mode. Our aim in this block was to impart new skills to the participants and to develop competences from them. This learning step took place mainly at learning level II, which is about changing the context and one’s attitude.
To stick to the topic of conflict management: In this block the participants learned to diagnose a conflict correctly and to carry out a conflict resolution process in such a way that low escalated conflicts can be resolved sustainably as participants.
The third block of the training was again about building up knowledge about trainer knowledge (cases, inputs, contents, exercises etc.). This learning step was again focused on levels 0 and I.
In the area of conflict management, our participants got to know all learning cases, inputs and exercises, tried them out for themselves and were able at the end of the block to carry out all relevant practices “correctly” for the implementation of a training. It was also about combining the right inputs to the respective exercises.
In the fourth and last block, the participants acquired the ability to develop their own programs. The aim was to bundle the previous skills and bring them together to form a design capability.
Theme Conflict: In this block, the prospective trainers learned, based on customer requirements, to develop their own training designs that ensure a continuous learning path to achieve the goals agreed with the client. It is essential that we apply the method of experiential learning. This means that the participants in a training measure first have the experience of learning to distinguish which practices are helpful in achieving the objectives and then learn to consolidate these practices into principles which can then be applied in all or many possible practical situations.
The learning partnerships as well as the support provided by our programme managers and online coaches offered the opportunity to give and take feedback throughout the training. The possibilities for reflection offered the participants the framework to find situations again and again, to work on their own attitude and to develop themselves further.
The whole measure ran over 2 years, 8 participants participated successfully.