Léon Beckx has been a LOL trainer for years for the training course Culture sensitive work and early detection of mild intellectual disabilities and mental health problems. He has certainly not been sitting back lately either. During the Corona crisis, he joined the Learning Connected team as LOL trainer. Together with the Parnassia Group he also developed a new training on cultural sensitivity and inclusiveness on the work floor. A very relevant subject, also due to the Black Lives Matter movement. Therefore, enough reason to ask Léon how all this is going and how he uses LOL for his trainings.
How did you get in touch with LOL?
“I came in touch with Live Online Learning in 2016. I was involved in training on diversity and community building from the Diversity Joy organization. That’s when Learning Connected and Study2Go started the culture-sensitivity program at the mental healthcare sector. We were actually working on the same topics. I took the course to become a LOL trainer and immediately started to give the culture sensitivity training. At the moment, I give two trainings on this subject. The first is working in a culture sensitive way for therapists who want to work with clients in a more culture-sensitive way. Secondly, together with the Parnassia Group, I developed a training on cultural sensitivity and inclusiveness in the work environment. Finally, I gave the accelerated COVID-19 training for live online group treatments and individual treatments.”
About the training course on working in a culture sensitive way: which topics does it cover?
“In the training for therapists I want to make professionals aware that we all look at reality from our own perspective. This applies to both clients and therapists. And how, as a care worker, you can move along and look at reality from the other person’s perspective. Cultural sensitivity in the workplace is more about inclusiveness. How can you create an environment within a company in which everyone feels at home and dares to bring in as many facets of themselves as possible? And what do you need to make the work environment more inclusive? For example, we are talking about the unwritten rules on the job. A well-known example are the “fixed flex-places”, which could be about the balance of authority between short and long term workers. Or a group of people who isolate themselves from the rest during lunch. These are “habits” that sneak in, but make people feel more or less safe on the job. Another topic we talk a lot about is micro aggression, small (discriminating) comments people make and their impact. Today a very hot topic, partly due to the Black Lives Matter movement. My goal in the trainings is that people start a dialogue with each other. Especially learning to talk to each other about this kind of painful situations”.
How do you experience the LOL method as an expert in your course?
“LOL is a different way of working and people’s attention span is different. Your training has to be more interactive and you have to really engage people in it. A big advantage is the logistics and how easy it is to get a lot of people together. The Parnassia Group is a good example; they have 15,000 employees all over the country. To carry out such a training physically is almost impossible. I think the LOL method is almost the only workable way to make this training possible. I also think it’s easier to have deep conversations with people online in a short period of time. That may sound strange, but with LOL you get to the point more quickly. When you physically meet each other in a group, you always have to deal with mutual group dynamics. People often explore a bit first and have to get used to each other for a while. This sometimes results in more ‘noise’. And that noise is less with the LOL method.”
“The more interactive, the better! If I get too much into the theory, it is easier for people to drop out. You have to keep people involved all the time.”
You also gave LOL training for Learning Connected, how did that go?
“I gave the accelerated COVID-19 training for individual and group treatments. I had a lot of fun doing that! In the beginning I had to get used to it because it was a lot more technical. It was also very educational for me because it allowed me to make better use of LOL’s wide range of possibilities. I also found it tough, because it all had to be done in the short term. For the therapists it was often stressful. They often used different programs interchangeably, such as Zoom, Skype and Cisco. At the same time I also found it very special. It was really necessary at that moment and we all put our efforts into mastering the skills and helping clients. It was a great experience!”
What are your tips for other LOL trainers?
“The more interactive, the better! I notice that if I’m too much into the theory, it’s easier for people to drop out. You have to keep people involved all the time. I have learned that! For me, it is also special to see that I am still growing in my training. I prefer to use as many examples as possible of people from the field. If you’re just starting out with an organization, you don’t know that much about it yet. After a while I can bring in more examples and ask sharper questions. My last tip is to dig deeper with people and give them the opportunity to share personal stories. The participants then really feel the impact. They get something, feel something, or get challenged. As a trainer you really have to go for that!”
“LOL makes something that seemed impossible possible.”
How do you see the future of Live Online Learning?
“I’m very curious about the future of LOL. I see that working online has gained momentum. For some people there was a barrier, which they have crossed now. Many organizations now see that this is going pretty well. And the subject of cultural sensitivity is also very relevant at the moment. I now mainly provide training within the mental healthcare sector, but these kinds of subjects are of course playing a role in many more companies. At the Parnassia Group I also see that with LOL you can reach so many people that you wouldn’t normally be able to reach. LOL makes something that seemed impossible possible.”
Do you want to become a LOL trainer like Léon? Take a look at our offer.
Do you have another question? We’d be happy to discuss it with you!