Monday, June 09, 2008

How many is too many?

I've been at my desk for well over an hour so far today, and slowly my clients are drifting in and starting to send emails to me. I started early-ish as 1) I've got a lot to get through; 2) it's hot and 3) I'm sunburned from yesterday so it's not comfy lounging around!
One of my first pieces of work was completing and sending off a proposal for a training day for 25 business people.
Now I was quite put off first of all because 25 is a very large group for one session, and I normally work with groups of six - 12. But this is a fairly basic course, so I think I can scale up and still deliver something worthwhile.
But what is the best size for a training group? As ever, it depends on what the group's doing, but my rule of thumb is that the best days have more than four participants and no more than 12.
You might think that 1:1 is best - and in executive coaching or employee mentoring that's probably the case. But for comms training, four for me is the absolute minimum. Fewer than that, and there's little chance for the sharing of ideas and the spark of ideas around a group. More than that and you can have two or more groups competing on the training tasks - and that also brings an edge that tends to lift the day.
But 25....that's a lot for the personal attention one would like to achieve. But, in my head, I've the thought that a few people won't turn up and that we'll end up with four or five groups of....four or five. It's eminently do-able. The trick is to make it not feel like a sheep dip but something that addresses personal needs.
Anyway, the proposal has now gone in, so it's back to a bank strategy document and a couple of business magazine features for the rest of the day.

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