Two Thumbs Up to These Training Tools

Engaging workshop facilitation brings Q4 People Skills to life. As a trainer, I’m always looking for tools and techniques that further my quest to be an engaging facilitator. Recently, I read about two excellent books. I rarely give what I read a five-star review, but today, there are two exceptions.

Since I’m getting ready to coach someone new to facilitation, this first selection caught my interest. What Great Trainers Do was delivered two weeks ago, and I dug into the first chapters to gauge how useful it would be to this new facilitation candidate. What happened next was a pleasant surprise — I didn’t want to put it down! The information flows easily, from suggestions to implementation guidelines. Before handing it over to my protégé, I had to order a second copy, since my first copy is all marked up with my highlights and implementation notes. I’m a 30-year veteran facilitator, and the book was extremely useful to me.

The second book was recommended by one of my favorite training bloggers, Brian Washburn. Recently, Brian suggested a new book, Performance-Based Smile Sheets. Like Brian, I bought the book because of someone’s suggestion, and proceeded to devour it without coming up for air. The book discusses smile sheets. Most trainers have a love/hate relationship with them; we know the value of feedback, but many trainers have been on an unfulfilled quest to produce smile sheets that can provide actionable and meaningful feedback. But those kinds of ideas are here in spades! Don’t wait for another training engagement before you get your own copy; as soon as it arrives, sit down for a most rewarding experience.

WARNING: Implementing author Will Thalheimer’s principles [which are well laid out] will take thought and time. But after you start reading, you’ll probably feel like you can’t wait to get started! Then you’ll have the resources to make some impactful changes.


Dr. Hager has substantial experience in facilitation, and in course design and development. Among her many programs, she facilitates Psychological Associates’ flagship offering, Leadership Through People Skills®.

Related Insights

get the right people on the bus

The Key to Employee Retention

“I don’t get any respect” is a mantra heard in offices throughout corporate America. Indeed, the common wisdom is that employees don’t leave their jobs — they