Practica: Partnering & teamwork 
– preparing for co-training


So, you decided to train with a partner or as a team. Given the short notice about an upcoming assignment that trainers are usually given these days, the temptation is to jump right into establishing the learning needs and developing the content and the process, what to pull off the shelf or create afresh, as well as assigning roles and topics to each other. Carefully doing this work is of course of the utmost importance, but to get the most out of your collaboration, you can benefit by some preliminary discussions and will lead to how you can best work together.

These explorations are particularly important if this is a first-time collaboration, but even in situations where you and your partner(s) have worked together in the past, a quick review of collaboration issues can be quite beneficial. Here are some questions for each of you to respond to that aim to stimulate realistic sharing that help you learn about and support each other in co-training:

  1. How would you describe your presentation and training style?
  2. What do you look for in a collaborator? 
  3. What has worked for you in previous collaborative experiences and what has not?
  4. What do you feel are your strengths & weaknesses as a trainer? What have you learned about this from previous participant and team member feedback?
  5. What is your signature piece, that is, what is the training topic or process that you are most expert at? How can your teammate(s) support you in this? 
  6. If you and your current teammate(s) have worked together previously, what is been most successful and what needs attention in your collaboration? 
  7. Where and how do you complement each other, and how can you benefit from this going forward?
  8. How can diversity and cultural background resources augment team performance and yield creative synergies?
  9. When presenting do you expect and enjoy it or are you uncomfortable when a partner interrupts and contributes? Advise each other on how best to contribute to each other’s work in vivo.
  10. What process will you establish for giving each other feedback or resolving potentially conflicting issues in the course of the program you are delivering? When and how will you do it?
  11. What experiences do each of you bring that relate to the theme and learning goals of the current client or program that you are preparing for?

Do other productive questions come to mind as you look at these? Don't hesitate to add to my list!

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