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Fiona Pollock

Zostera Ltd

Learning Consultant & Coach

Read more from Fiona Pollock

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Intrinsic Motivation is the Key


Over the last few weeks I’ve been attending a training programme for some voluntary work I’ll be doing from May.  It’s a pretty intensive course:

  • 6 (full days) of classroom based learning, delivered every 2nd Saturday
  • A chunk of pre-reading for each of the sessions
  • A homework book to complete after each training day, which will be assessed.
  • 1 evening session every 4-weeks
  • 3 observations (which take approx 4 hours each)

And all of this is on top of other day-to-day commitments. For no remuneration at all.

The point of me sharing this is not because I want to polish my halo.  It’s my choice to do the course and ultimately take up the role (assuming I pass my training successfully!).

The reason I’m sharing this is because I’m not the only one on the course.  There are 14 others.  Each and every one similar to me – they have families, work, other day-to-day commitments.  And yet, they show up every second Saturday.  Enthusiastic, engaged…. prepared!  They are attentive, ask good questions and participate fully in all of the exercises (yes, even the role plays!).

How amazing would it be if every group of learners you facilitated were like this?  Can you imagine how much easier your job would be?  How much more successful the learning transfer would be?

So I got to thinking – why do these people do it?  why do I do it?  It’s not for any monetary reward.  Sure, we all get to claim expenses (interestingly, more than 50% of the class haven’t claimed anything yet and we’ve only two days of training left), but there will be no handsome pay cheque at the end of the course.  No huge pay rise or bonus for implementing the knowledge.  Far from it.  In fact, once we’ve passed the course, we are required to give up between 2 and 4 afternoons per month to sit on panels and make some very difficult decisions.  And that’s not including the time we need to invest in reading all the reports in the run up to the panels to ensure we are fully prepared.

Ultimately, people do it because they want to.  Like me, they have chosen to put themselves forward for this role and therefore all the training that goes with it.  Maybe they want to give something back to their community.  Maybe they feel they can make a difference.  Maybe they have a passion for the subject.  Whatever the underlying reason, the one thing everyone has in common is that they have made the choice to be there and they see why the training is important.

This is some great learning for us back in the workplace.  If we want our delegates to be engaged and to really learn from our sessions we need them to make the choice to be there and to see the value in the learning. 

How do you currently achieve this?  We’d love to hear your strategies.

Author Profile Picture
Fiona Pollock

Learning Consultant & Coach

Read more from Fiona Pollock

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