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Team / Collaborative Teaching : How To Create a Transparent Approach

The idea of team teaching is a good one. Both people can participate in the process of helping participants learn, they each bring different skills, knowledge, ideas and styles to the classroom and it breaks up the workshop. Executing team teaching that is cohesive and transparent is the challenge. Both trainers must be focused on following the rules that will make this a good experience for both the trainers and the participants.

Rule #1: RESPECT

Build rapport with one another before getting in front of the classroom. Respect one another’s ideas and training styles. If you are the person opening the workshop, make sure that you introduce your co-facilitator and set the stage for mutual respect from participants.

Rule #2:  PLAN OF ACTION

Create a plan of action that includes who will manage which pieces of the training.   Play to one another’s strengths and practice the content as a team. Clarify roles and responsibilities prior to training. Don’t trade off too often or in front of participants.

Rule #3: DO NOT DISAGREE…

If your co-facilitator says something that you disagree with, do not call them our or debate the issue in front of participants. If the other person says something that is inaccurate, discuss it during a break or after training and make the correction as a team.

Rule #4: ENGAGE

You know it’s important to engage participants. When you are co-facilitating, remember to engage the other facilitator. Ask questions such as, “Do you have anything to add?” or “Sally, you do a great job of explaining xyz, would you please share your ideas?”

Rule #5: DO NOT INTERRUPT!

When one facilitator is “on stage”, do not interrupt. There should be one leader at a time. Develop a system of signals or cues if you want to add something and wait for the primary facilitator to bring you into the conversation. A good phrase to use when the lead facilitator pauses might be, “If I could add a thought…”

What are some other rules that you would like to add that will help create a successful team teaching experience?

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Anne P. Harlow is a creative, results driven professional with an eclectic background in leadership, consulting, training, sales and marketing, instructional design and technology. With proven success in managing people, budgets and projects; analyzing and managing business processes and change; assessing, developing and deploying skills improvement programs; a passion for working with people and making a difference; and a solid understanding of business processes, she is able to assist organizations maximize their most important resource: PEOPLE!