“It is impossible to conduct exactly the same training twice”

Irina Chistyakova

Irina Chistyakova was born into a family of educators: Both her parents dedicated their lives to educating children. Trying to break free, Irina pursued a career as a journalist for 20 years before realising that her true calling is as an adult educator.

Adult Education and Development: How did you become an adult educator?

Irina Chistyakova: To teach people – not children, but adults, apparently, was my vocation after all! At first I wanted to share my professional experience, and began teaching at the Department for International Journalism of the Kyrgyz-Russian (Slavonic) University in Bishkek. Once I got onto advanced training courses for university lecturers, I became acquainted with interactive learning techniques and training methodology. And then I said to myself: This is what interests me! My first training was in the field of media – for media professionals. And then I thought: What can I, as a journalist, do best and what can I teach other people to do? And then I began to develop and conduct training on the development of effective communication skills – both for corporate clients and in an open format.

Please describe your current work.

I develop and conduct media training on various topics for media professionals, bloggers and civic journalists. As a business coach, I conduct training on effective communication skills – oral, written, business communication and public speaking skills. Today, one of the main topics in my training for adults is the development of skills on emotional intelligence. I am the first trainer in Central Asia to develop emotional intelligence according to the concept of Yale University. And recently, I have increased my potential in the field of training methodology development.

Which is your favourite working method, and why?

I gradually began to add facilitation tools to classic training tools, using the facilitation method with PinPoint cards. I also actively use coaching approaches in training (as I am a professional coach). I introduce gamification. If we talk about classic skills development training, I draw on the Kolb cycle when developing programmes.

What motivates you?

Thank you for this question – it has triggered a reflection. I love working with a training group, and I am attracted to the group processes that develop during the training. It is impossible to conduct exactly the same training twice, even on the same topic and with the same group. It will be a completely different story! Each training course is a small life that will never happen again. For me, the two most exciting moments in the training are at the beginning when the participants talk about their expectations and at the end, during the final reflection, when participants explore what they have learned during training and what they will now introduce into their practice. This of course is only part of the training results – opinions and impressions of the participants – but to me they are a valuable reinforcement of the importance of my work.

Adult Education and Development


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