It’s interesting to notice how quickly a group gels together in a training session.  This week I was running a coaching skills workshop and was aware that the group seemed to build a trusting and open environment very quickly.  It can be the most subtle signals that we are often not consciously aware of that encourage openness and sharing.  I always encourage people at the start of the session to share one thing with the group that others may not necessarily know about them.  Sometimes people take a risk and share more personal insights which does encourage others to be more open too.  The environment plays a part too: how the room is laid out, what the decor is like, and whether there is music etc.   

I contrasted the experience of the coaching workshop with another event I attended recently where the environment did not encourage sharing and supporting one another. The room was long and narrow, chairs set out so that some people had their backs to each other and there was not  much of a welcoming smile from the  event organisers for people arriving.  So if you are organising an event or training workshop, its worthwhile paying close attention to the subtle environmental factors that can help or hinder your success.