FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below provide you with first answers about the method and process of Soufflearning.

Basics

Where does the name “Soufflearning” derive from?

Soufflearning is a great neologism from the German verb “soufflieren” (to prompt) and the English “self-learning” at the workplace.

Which qualifications are required in trainers?

For Soufflearning trainers need a good eye and a feeling for different work situations and personalities. They should have good communications skills in order to give detailed and motivating feedback. The trainers need to be experienced in the required training issues. They should not have a problem with being in the background and be able to act in a solution-focused manner should difficult situations arise. Trainers also need to be able to mediate between all project partners.

How are employees prepared for being accompanied at their workplaces?

For many employees being accompanied at their workplaces will be an unusual experience. Quite naturally concerns and questions will come up. The trainers will therefore tell them exactly what will happen during the accompanied training sessions.

The employees are also involved in finding the right point of observation for the trainers during the Soufflearning sessions. The trainers always have a short personal talk with the employee beforehand to answer any questions. Feedback is only given in one-on-one talks which is generally appreciated by the employees. Nevertheless the first accompaniment has to be done in a careful way. After employees have gone through the experience once and received supporting feedback, usually they grow more confident and the individual learning process starts.For many employees being accompanied at their workplaces will be an unusual experience. Quite naturally concerns and questions will come up. The trainers will therefore tell them exactly what will happen during the accompanied training sessions.

The employees are also involved in finding the right point of observation for the trainers during the Soufflearning sessions. The trainers always have a short personal talk with the employee beforehand to answer any questions. Feedback is only given in one-on-one talks which is generally appreciated by the employees. Nevertheless the first accompaniment has to be done in a careful way. After employees have gone through the experience once and received supporting feedback, usually they grow more confident and the individual learning process starts.

For many employees being accompanied at their workplaces will be a new experience.
They are often not used to it and so quite naturally concerns and questions will come up.
The trainers tell them how the accompaniments will exactly take place.

The employees are also involved in finding the right position for the accompaniments during Soufflearning. The trainers always have a short personal talk with the employee before starting an accompaniment to answer last questions. Feedback is only given in personal talks which is generally appreciated by the employees. Nevertheless the first accompaniment has to be done in a very empathetic way. After employees have experienced it once and got a supporting feedback, confidence has been built and the individual learning process starts.

For many employees being accompanied at their workplaces will be a new experience.
They are often not used to it and so quite naturally concerns and questions will come up.
The trainers tell them how the accompaniments will exactly take place.

The employees are also involved in finding the right position for the accompaniments during Soufflearning. The trainers always have a short personal talk with the employee before starting an accompaniment to answer last questions. Feedback is only given in personal talks which is generally appreciated by the employees. Nevertheless the first accompaniment has to be done in a very empathetic way. After employees have experienced it once and got a supporting feedback, confidence has been built and the individual learning process starts.

For many employees being accompanied at their workplaces will be a new experience.
They are often not used to it and so quite naturally concerns and questions will come up.
The trainers tell them how the accompaniments will exactly take place.

The employees are also involved in finding the right position for the accompaniments during Soufflearning. The trainers always have a short personal talk with the employee before starting an accompaniment to answer last questions. Feedback is only given in personal talks which is generally appreciated by the employees. Nevertheless the first accompaniment has to be done in a very empathetic way. After employees have experienced it once and got a supporting feedback, confidence has been built and the individual learning process starts.

For many employees being accompanied at their workplaces will be a new experience.
They are often not used to it and so quite naturally concerns and questions will come up.
The trainers tell them how the accompaniments will exactly take place.

The employees are also involved in finding the right position for the accompaniments during Soufflearning. The trainers always have a short personal talk with the employee before starting an accompaniment to answer last questions. Feedback is only given in personal talks which is generally appreciated by the employees. Nevertheless the first accompaniment has to be done in a very empathetic way. After employees have experienced it once and got a supporting feedback, confidence has been built and the individual learning process starts.

For many employees being accompanied at their workplaces will be a new experience.
They are often not used to it and so quite naturally concerns and questions will come up.
The trainers tell them how the accompaniments will exactly take place.

The employees are also involved in finding the right position for the accompaniments during Soufflearning. The trainers always have a short personal talk with the employee before starting an accompaniment to answer last questions. Feedback is only given in personal talks which is generally appreciated by the employees. Nevertheless the first accompaniment has to be done in a very empathetic way. After employees have experienced it once and got a supporting feedback, confidence has been built and the individual learning process starts.

For many employees being accompanied at their workplaces will be a new experience.
They are often not used to it and so quite naturally concerns and questions will come up.
The trainers tell them how the accompaniments will exactly take place.

The employees are also involved in finding the right position for the accompaniments during Soufflearning. The trainers always have a short personal talk with the employee before starting an accompaniment to answer last questions. Feedback is only given in personal talks which is generally appreciated by the employees. Nevertheless the first accompaniment has to be done in a very empathetic way. After employees have experienced it once and got a supporting feedback, confidence has been built and the individual learning process starts.

Organization

What is the duration of the workshops?

Kick-off workshop and closing workshop in Soufflearning should not take longer than two hours each. Regarding workshops on specific issues, their timing depends on the chosen topics and number of participants.

How long do the accompanied training sessions take?

The session should be long enough for a range of different work situations to be observed in order to allow giving professional feedback afterwards. They normally take one to two hours.

How does the company handle with the time which is required for learning during working hours (investment of time)?

When planning a Soufflearning session, its start and duration are exactly defined from the beginning. The duration mainly depends on training goals and the number of participants.

Employees will only be absent from their workplace during the workshops and for short feedback talks. The trainer keeps in contact with the employer during the Soufflearning process. If a certain employee needs more accompanied sessions, suitable times can be planned in advance.

On-site operation

What will employees experience in more concrete terms?

The employees take part in a kick-off workshop where they get information about Soufflearning, meet the trainer and have an interactive training session on the required issue. They have the possibility to ask questions and they get prepared for their first accompanied training sessions.

A few days later the employees are accompanied for the first time and get personal feedback afterwards. They find out about their skills and possibilities for optimization. In the following days they are going to practice what they have learned. Personal conversations and further accompaniments follow.

At the end of the process the employees take part in a closing workshop and report on their experience and achievements during Soufflearning.

Where do the trainers position themselves during accompanied training sessions?

The trainer should always stay in the background and concentrate mainly on observing the work processes, interaction with customers, teamwork etc. Neither employees nor customers should feel disturbed at any time. It helps to ask for the employee’s opinion. If the trainer is under the impression that the accompanied employee is uncomfortable, the trainer can adapt his/her position, for example by going outside for a few minutes and returning later. Trainers have to be empathetic and give employees time to get used to their presence.

What should be the ratio between accompaniment by the trainer and self-learning sequences?

Depending on how quickly employees can successfully put the things they learn into practice, the number of accompanied training sessions differs. Some employees need to be supported with an earlier second session. Others need more time in between and prefer to learn by themselves for a longer period. However, there should not be more than three weeks in between two accompaniments, otherwise trainer and employee might loose the established basis.

Understanding

Is it possible to combine the advantages of informal and formal learning with Soufflearning? If so, how?

Yes, Soufflearning combines some of the main chracteristics of both ways. The advantages of informal learning are:

It is experiental learning which happens during real work processes within the working environment. The participants gain empirical, practical knowledge by reflecting their experiences during daily activities. The sequence consists of > action > experience > reflection > action > new experience. The trainer accompanies and moderates the important process of reflection.

Similar to informal learning, there will often be unintentional learning outcomes. But the learning process itself is not accidental, much like in formal learning, the training is well organized and structured. The process of learning is accompanied by professional trainers with distinctive skills in teaching, adult training, counselling and coaching.

How many accompanied training sessions do employees need?

The number of sessions per employee depends on individual needs. Personal conversations and the first accompanied session will give an impression on how intensive the training has to be for a particular employee. On average two to three accompaniments per employee are enough to achieve good results.

Who can perform Soufflearning in a company?

Soufflearning is only performed by highly qualified trainers who know the method well and who are enthusiastic about this kind of individual and motivating training. They have well-developed communication skills and are experienced regarding the required training issues.