Reflections: Co-Training with Mark Levison

Mark Levison, Certified Scrum Trainer (CST), and I co-trained a 3 day Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) training seminar in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada. Since I have been training and coaching with the Scrum framework since 2008, we decided that we would use the content that Mishkin Berteig, Certified Scrum Trainer (CST), and I have developed while working together during our time together at Berteig Consulting. Much of the training that I have been doing has been moving away from using slides and focused more on accelerated learning principles and back of the room training concepts. This made preparing for the seminar somewhat challenging since Mark lives in Ottawa and I live in Toronto. We did speak about the content and how we would co-train the seminar.

I have had the privilege of co-training with many people on many occasions which have helped me to collaborate and reflect on the progress of the training seminar in a systematic way. This was the case with Mark during this seminar too. We spoke during and after the seminar to achieve unity of thought as well as unity of action. It was of tremendous benefit for me to learn from Mark as he spoke on Scrum concepts in very different way.

I learned many things in my interactions with Mark and during the seminar itself. One such learning was that speaking with authority aids the participants to see the trainer as an expert. This allows them to better move the material and take on the conceptual challenges of learning about and using Scrum in exercises and simulations.

Another learning was from the feedback of the participants. It spoke of how valuable it was to have two trainers instead of one. This advantage helped with filling in gaps, answering questions from varying points of view, and sharing stories to better illustrate a principle.

A third learning that is important to me was how it helped both Mark and I consider how to change the way we train and to modify to modules that will be in the seminar. Through our conversations, we discovered a better understanding of what is inside of Scrum and what are additional things that help teams. This would make for a more streamlined set of modules for the participants to go through. Then they would have more time to experience the concepts, instead of having to move through many concepts in a short amount of time.

The advantages of co-training far outways its challenges. Advantages include a diversity of thought, collaboration on ways of training, ability to share many stories on Scrum experience, and the ability to consult and reflect during and after the training seminar. Challenges include: aligning the different styles of training and facilitating the seminar, decisions around time-boxing, focus given to speaking versus facilitating, and what needs to be in the seminar.

Overall, co-training with Mark was great!

Learn more and from Mark Levison:

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Warm regards,

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