An alternative to the individual reflection technique is to form small groups that create a list of expectations in a specified timeframe. This approach can be turned into a friendly competition with the team generating the most responses receiving a reward. To increase the effectiveness of any brainstorming, you may want to write and post some brain-storming rules, such as those found in the Tools for Trainers section.


Pull from personal training experiences in order to enhance the sessions that you facilitate. When you attend training, what are some typical expectations that you have going into programs?

Pre-class assignments

Pre-class assignments


MINDMAP 1. Raising Expectations

How have trainers identified and capitalized on those expectations in the past?

In what ways can you apply your experiences related to expectations to your own sessions?

A Cast of Characters

Use an innovative approach to grouping participants, and then have them use the brainstorming technique to gather expectations. One strategy for grouping is to pass out strips of paper to each participant as he or she arrives. On the strips, write the names of the characters of famous television shows or movies. For example, "Gilligan's Island"—The Professor, Skipper, Gilligan, Mary Ann, Mr. Howell, Mrs. Howell, and Ginger or "Star Wars" (the original)—C-3PO, Chewbacca, R2D2, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Grand Moff Tarkin, Luke Skywalker, Lord Darth Vader, Ben (Obi-wan) Kenobi. Other well known shows are "Family Ties," "The Beverly Hillbillies," "Friends," "Scrooge," "All in the Family," "Married with Children," and "The Jeffersons." Tell participants how many people will be on each team (based on the total number of session attendees). When you are ready to start the activity, have participants wander around the room introducing themselves and looking for other cast members from their show or movie. Once all cast members for each group are assembled, give them an assigned time to brainstorm and flip chart expectations, questions, or issues, then review the lists as a class and discuss.

There is nothing so wasteful as doing with great efficiency that which doesn't have to be done at all. —Anonymous

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