As a trainer, how do you regard the coffee breaks on a training course?
a. A chance to check your materials etc. for the next session?
b. Time for urgent personal phone calls, messages etc.?
c. A break from the training, to relax, de-stress yourself?
d. An opportunity to mix with your learners semi-socially?
e. A chance to find out from the learners how the training is going?
f. A frustrating and uncontrolled interruption to the training flow?
g. An opportunity for someone to complain about the coffee!
There is no doubt that refreshment breaks can be some or all of these, dependent on the circumstances.
Here are five ideas for using coffee breaks more constructively:
- Account for extended coffee break time to a realistic period, bearing in mind that learners may have various needs
- Ensure that its not just coffee and tea, but also water, and not just biscuits but also fruit etc.
- Encourage learners to step out for some fresh air during the break if practicable
- Set a themed informal discussion question related to the training, the venue or the refreshment arrangements (easy for health and safety or food safety courses!)
- Organise an activity, set a challenge and build the coffee in as a running break during the activity.
There are lots of other ideas for incorporating breaks into your training – why not let me know what you do?