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The Parking-Lot Technique

We encourage you to address most questions when they’re asked. However, you might come across reasons to “park” certain questions, discussion points, or concerns. Such reasons might include:
  • Some participants may not feel comfortable asking certain questions in the presence of others.
  • A participant may ask a question that you know will be addressed more completely in an upcoming section of the training.
  • A participant may ask a challenging question that can be deferred for later discussion.
  • A participant may ask a question at a point when there is inadequate time to address the question fully.
  • You may wish to post a reminder for later follow-up.
The Parking-Lot Technique is easy to set up and implement.
  • Before training, post one or more visuals labeled “Parking Lot” in the training room. Leave plenty of free space on each visual. 
  • Before training, distribute several self-stick notepads or cards within easy reach of participant groups.
  • During your introduction, inform participants that you’re happy to address questions as they arise. Also let them know about the parking-lot option, which can be used for some or all of the reasons listed above.

This simple technique and others will help you maintain focus and manage training time while also attending to participant questions and concerns. This approach also helps with modeling the guiding principles of Respect, Service, and Safety at Work® and Care, Welfare, Safety, and SecuritySM while teaching CPI training programs.