Learning & Development professionals are in the people business.
Whether you call yourself a trainer, facilitator, teacher, coach or an instructional designer, it’s all about people - helping them forward so they can learn new skills and knowledge, so they can find better ways of working and living together, so they can achieve their potential. And humans are complicated creatures!
Every person we work with comes with their own uniquely developed beliefs and assumptions that frame how they engage with the world and how they learn. This includes us, the learning and development professionals.
I’ve been reading a great article by Stephen Brookfield, ‘The Getting of Wisdom: What Critically Reflective Teaching is and Why It’s Important’ from Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher, San Francisco, Jossey-Bass 1995.
Brookfield explains 3 broad categories of assumptions:
Our assumptions shape how we think, the decisions we make, the approach we take, the expectations we have and the way that we learn. They create stability in our lives (which is what our brains like) and are embedded deep within our selves.
Assumptions can also be adopted e.g. every industry/profession/trade has it’s own set of assumptions that have grown out of the collective experiences and learnings.
A couple of assumptions to consider:
Do you use ground rules in your training sessions? Why?
How many assumptions have you hunted today?