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Stephen Taylor

Taylored Training Ltd

E-learning developer and instructional designer

Read more from Stephen Taylor

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Observation skills training


I have been asked to design and deliver a training course for a group of people who will be observing a specific customer experience using public transport and filling in a questionnaire regarding their experience.  I will be training them in the specifics of observing for the project but would anybody have any ideas on generic observation skills and methods of training them?  Thanks in advance for any ideas.


3 Responses

  1. Mystery Shopper or Group Exercise


    reading your question it looks like you are seeking to train people to become mystery shoppers. Thus, as a suggestion for a practical exercise, why not ask them to work in pairs and go shopping for a burger in McD’s or Burger King and report back on their shopping experience. Of course the classroom stage before the practical exercise is for the group to come up with the kind of things they should be observing when ordering the burger  – did the sales person have the correct uniform, did they greet you appropriately, did they ask if you wanted fries with that etc etc.

    However, if you are classroom bound and cannot release your delegates to go shopping then why not split the group in half and run a group exercise. One half of the group should be asked act as ginuea pigs and actually do the group ex and the other delegates should be asked to act as the observers. Best to have two group exercises so that the roles can be reversed and everyone gets to observe and feedback what they saw.

    It works best if you buddy up the observers. Thus, the observers are not asked to look at everyone in the group but focus their attention on one or two members who are doing the group exercise. Have two observers watch one person in the group exercise and have the observers share notes and report back on what they observed.

    If you email me I will happily give you a marking sheet I have for the observers to use as they observe and perhaps we can brainstorm suitable group exercise material.



  2. Kim’s game

    Here’s a quickie for the training room we have used in the Scouts.

    Get a variety of items, about 15, and place them on a table, cover them with a cloth. Tell the delegates that they have a minute to remember all of the items, no pens, pencils, mobiles, cameras or paper allowed. Take the cloth off for precisely 1 minute before replacing it. Ask them all to sit down and write everything that they saw but only give them a minute. At the end you can reveal the objects again and mark the answers.

    You might want to repeat this with different objects at the end of the course to ee how they have improved.

    It’s an oldie but goodie.

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Stephen Taylor

E-learning developer and instructional designer

Read more from Stephen Taylor

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