Friday Fresh #40: The Power of a Calm Mind in Training Sessions

Hello and welcome to this week’s Friday Fresh!

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy for learners to be mentally scattered, especially when they step into a training session.

One significant factor trainers need to consider is the concept of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). When participants sit down for training—whether in person or online—their minds often wander, thinking about what else they could be doing, particularly if the weather is nice or if they have other commitments on their mind.

To maximise the impact of your training sessions, it’s crucial to help learners calm their minds before diving into the material.

Research shows that a calm mind is far more receptive to absorbing new information compared to one preoccupied with external distractions​ (Greater Good)​​ (ScienceDaily)​.

Let’s explore how you can create a calming pathway for your learners:

1. Start with a Mindfulness Session

Begin your training with a short mindfulness exercise. Simple breathing techniques or a brief meditation can help learners center their thoughts and be present.

Bonus points for leading a short meditation – this will help learners associate your voice with relaxation.

Example: “Let’s take two minutes to close our eyes, breathe deeply, and clear our minds of any distractions. Focus on your breath and let go of any outside thoughts.”

2. Create a Relaxing Environment

Ensure the training environment is comfortable and free from distractions. Soft lighting, comfortable seating, and a quiet space can make a significant difference.

Tip: Encourage learners to turn off their mobile phones or set them to silent mode to minimise interruptions.

3. Set Clear Expectations

Outline what the session will cover, how long it will take, and what learners can expect to gain from it.

Providing a clear roadmap can reduce anxiety about the unknown.

Don’t forget to explicitely set the breaks (and stick to them). This is perhaps the most important part.

4. Emphasise the Personal Investment

Remind learners that they are attending the training as an investment in themselves. Highlight the personal and professional benefits of the training to foster a sense of purpose and engagement.

Final Thoughts

Studies have shown that mindfulness practices in educational settings lead to better self-regulation, reduced stress, and enhanced learning outcomes​. When learners start with a calm mind, they are more likely to retain information and apply it effectively.

By incorporating these strategies, you can help your learners start the session with a calm and focused mind, making the training more effective and enjoyable.

Remember, the goal is to create an environment where learners can fully engage with the material and see real benefits from their investment in the training.

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