Seek knowledge even if you have to go China.Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) (570/73-632)
Prophet of Islam
This quotation, often attributed to the Prophet (PBUH) is not a real hadith, but attributed to him. Nevertheless, it shows the universal command of learning. Learning is everywhere — and most of the sources of learning can be attained for free. Especially, with the development of the Internet it has increased tremendously. But don’t neglect or ignore other possibilities: the physical library, the university lecturer or the trainer in a workshop.
In the following section, you find several suggestions for your development — but not only that. As you are also a future trainer and leader also observe how the content is prepared. What do you like or what you don’t like. Is it attractive and if yes, why? What would you do better? And think of producing your own workshop material accordingly — as for example this E-Book you are holding in your hand — is also a supportive book for our TWL workshops.
This is proven to be one of the best sources of learning. As the saying goes, ‘Readers and Leaders’ — that is to say, knowledge is power. For millennia, people have developed themselves through the written word. Normally, a human being has about 50—60,000 thoughts a day. Most of them are the same thoughts we had the day before. Only through additional input, new thoughts and new brain connections can arise. Make sure to develop a habit of reading regularly. It will not only lead you far beyond your current state, but will enable you to lead others.
It has never been easier and cheaper to develop your cognitive powers than it is today. You will get a lot of books for free on the Internet. Most classics are available for free download, e.g. Project Gutenberg. With today’s smartphones you always have a reading device with you. Times of waiting or travelling thus become entertaining and energising.
If you don’t have much time you can either turn to audiobooks (see below) or learn speed-reading. This can be learned in courses, books, and software. It will help you throughout your life to get more information in less time.
Reading can happen also in the internet of course – mostly for free. Take this website, TheWorkshopLeader.com, as example as you are currently reading this lines. I do my best to make it one of the best sources of learning for workshops.
Audiobooks and Podcasts
There are many occasions when it is not possible to read, but you can listen. You are travelling, you are standing in a queue, you are ironing your clothes. I am an absolute fan of podcasts and have almost all the time plugged in my earphones. Don’t waste that time nor get annoyed by time wasted — podcasts and audiobooks are fantastic opportunities to learn and to develop yourself further. Most of us have our phone with us 24-hours a day. Some earphones don’t cost much. Just download interesting material, most of it is for free. For example, librivox.org offers audiobooks read by amateurs.
Besides universities, many freelancers and also TWL intends to offer podcasts soon. Just go on TheWorkshopLeader.com or search for it in iTunes. You can discover them for almost all fields of life.
The oldest of all sources of learning is storytelling. A great art of the past reached the world of management. Years back it was still seen as “irrational”, “emotional”, and “too soft” in the hard business world. But now more and more managers realised that stories can be extremely powerful. They are highly effective are developing attitudes of change. Thus, knowing stories for different occasions and purposes can be extremely helpful for workshop leaders.
In Islamic countries, it may be the case that stories of Sufis are the most effective as they are ingrained in the culture and religion of the country. These often-ancient anecdotes can provide much wisdom today. So, often also Western coaches and psychoanalysts are using them. You will find anecdotes suitable for any learning purpose.
As a trainer you could tell them yourself or let participants practise the art of story telling after having read them.
Tutorials and Online courses
Many tutorials — from repairing a plug up to the history of psychology — are freely available on the Internet. YouTube is one of the biggest providers of tutorials, but also a lot of other providers of excellent learning.
The same goes for online courses — many of them can be found on the web. Some of them are for free, for others you have to sign up with your credit card.
If interested in workshops then check the online courses and workshops by TheWorkshopLeader.com
Workshops and Seminars
Workshops are the traditional way, which usually involves all channels of communication (if there is food, even the gustatory). Not only do you learn about certain content, but with sharp eyes you can judge the moderator, the organisation etc. and decide what you want to imitate and what to reject. Attending many workshops will enhance your experience in this field.