5 ways to use regrouping in training


One of the best tools in the trainer’s arsenal is “regrouping”. It helps to build energy, break pre-occupation, facilitate networking and keep bodies in motion. However, from the classroom management perspective, regular regrouping assists the trainer to stay in control of the group and ensures that the difficult personalities are shared around the room. There are many ways (both subtle and less-subtle) to break-up groups when training. So here are five to get you going, which use the technique of “regrouping”.

1. Random regrouping – (e.g. Ask the participants to form a new group to work with which has no more than two people who were in the previous group.)

2. Structured regrouping - (e.g. Ask the participants to move from their desks and find a wall (one of four) to be close to. Again, like in the “random regrouping”, ask them to have no more than two people from the previous group positioned at the same wall. Once they have all selected a wall, inform them that this is their new group. In the Train-the-Trainer Boot Camp, we call this meeting their “Off-the-wall Outlaws”.)

3. Facilitated regrouping - (e.g. Issue a “dance card” or “passport” to each participant and ask them to fill out a square or provide a stamp for each new person they work with. Award a prize at the end for the person who works with everyone first or who has worked with the most people during the session.)

4. Category regrouping - (e.g. Instruct the participants to form groups based on the colour of the handout, folder or resource provided by the trainer. For instance, the trainer could do this by asking them to form four groups: Red, Yellow, Green and Blue. Later, the trainer could ask the participants to regroup into a team which was made up of at least one of each colour.)

5. Manipulated regrouping - (e.g. The trainer could use playing cards to facilitate the formation of new groups. These groups would be made up of Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds and Spades. Essentially, the trainer would hand out different cards to each participant and ask them to form new groups based on their suit. However, as the trainer knows what the cards are, they could subtly regroup the audience into teams of their choosing. They may want to do this to remove a dominating personality from one group, spread the experience amongst all the groups or just to connect people with complementary skills.) So next time you are in training, rather than adopting the default “counting off” method to dividing up the group, try one of these five regrouping techniques.

Marc Ratcliffe