Yesterday I played hookey (in the morning anyway!).
Despite having a massive to-do list at the busiest time of the year, I went off for a ski lesson at the Chill Factore in Manchester.
I almost cancelled it but I didn't.
And I'm glad.
Having to concentrate on ski-ing for 2 hours (having not been for almost 3 years) made me STOP thinking about work.
This meant I came back refreshed and clear-headed.
More than that, my confidence in ski-ing has improved no end.
I am a COMPETENT skier, but I've never been that CONFIDENT. Understandable really when I only do it one week out of 52 (and that's in a normal year!). So being with people of a similar standard, noticing what they do, chatting about tips we'd been told and picked up AS WELL AS being reminded of (or introduced to) good practice by the instructor meant that we all left the session happier than when we started it.
It wasn't about starting from scratch, or having to change our style. It was about making small changes to make things EASIER or MORE EFFECTIVE.
That's what peer learning (with a guide) is all about.
And that's what VIP members of the Training Designer's Club do too.
You see most VIP members don't design training ALL THE TIME. It's just a PART of their job, and when you only do something from time to time, it's easy to forget some good practice tips. It's easy to lose your confidence. It's common to wonder if you're doing it right, or missing a trick. It's normal to not have a vast back catalogue to draw on and to feel rusty.
Working with others who are in the same situation, at the same level brings good practice back to top of mind far more quickly that it would working on your own. Having an experienced professional to check-in with and ask for advice develops your skills in the areas that YOU want to focus on.
If it works for ski-ing, it can work for #trainingdesign - ESPECIALLY when design is just PART of your job, AND you don't have a ready-made team to turn to for help.