A training facility is usually: (1) the banquet room of a hotel or (2) conference room of a resort or (3) a classroom in an office or an educational institution.
The benefits that accrue by organizing training in such a facility are usually, proximity to work-place, tasty food, instant service, ready to use training aids.
Structure defines the activity – such training facilities are good for lecture-based method of training or on-line training and perhaps some indoor activity-based training.
The biggest advantages of such training facilities are also their biggest shortcomings: the rigidity of the facility in terms of activity allowed, organization of furniture and timings of the program and its sessions.
As trainers we have been seduced into the illusion that it is the training aids, the food, the furniture that are the critical things for a successful training program and not the space that they create/contain.
As the Tao Te Ching states:
“Thirty spokes share the wheel’s hub;
It is the centre hole that makes it useful.
Shape clay into a vessel;
It is the space within that makes it useful.
Cut doors and windows for a room;
It is the holes which make it useful.”
The availability of indoor, open-air (closed to sky) and outdoor space in a training facility opens up new possibilities for a greater variety of suitable activities. Add flexibility of organization of seating space/settings and timings the training facility becomes more attractive. Ensure that the good food available, is dictated by the training program requirement (and not vice-versa); service is on-tap (and only as required); and you have a training facility whose space is defined creatively by the concerned trainer to enhance to desired results from a training program in partnership with the participants.
Quoting again from the Tao Te Ching:
“Therefore profit comes from what is there;
Usefulness from what is not there.”
The most important and useful part of a training facility is thus, the space it has and its flexibility of use. So when evaluating a training facility explore the space and its myriad uses, and not…