Training from the back of the Room

After reading Roger Brown’s post – Adventures in Accelerated Learning – I decided I had better read Sharon Bowman’s Training From the Back of the Room. The book has really helped me improve my training style and I look forward to taking Sharon’s training to get an immersive experience. I am writing about this now since I had a chance to put it into practice on my Kanban 101 training. In this post, I want to share the key concepts from the book.

The visual note below is an example of an exercise I did when reading the book – “1 minute concept review”. It took me considerably longer than a minute, but now I have a clear picture of what the book is about. I knew some of this stuff when I was a teaching assistant in university where I was part of a program to help improve teaching skills. Sharon’s stuff is way more powerful.

The 4 C’s

  1. Connections
  2. Concepts
  3. Concrete Practice
  4. Conclusions

Sharon uses the 4 C’sas a way to think about training and to help learners engage with new information. The book contains links back to research on learning and neurology.

The reason I really like the book is that it is chock full of example exercises. These are easy to understand and apply. So it is theory + practice.


The 4 C’s are a simplified model of the 4MAT system of learning that I learned a while back but found difficult to apply effectively. So if you are looking for a richer model consider this one.

What Sharon’s book brings to the table is a model that is easy to understand and apply. And great examples. So give it a read if you do any training.

Michael K Sahota guides and teaches leaders how to create high-performance organizations. He is the creator of a proven system for leading change through a practical playbook. His model for Consciously Approaching Agile guides the creation of a cultural and leadership context where Agile creates lasting organizational results. Michael has taught over 1000 leaders worldwide through his highly acclaimed “Agile” Culture & Leadership Training. His company, Agilitrix, delivers “Agile Transformation- Redefined” with an elite team of consultants who specialize in unlocking Culture.

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