Asking more of your corporate learners than ever before? Are they challenged with having to remember more, perform better and deliver faster than ever?
I’ve been training at some level all my working life. But more importantly, I have been stealing shamelessly from amazing learning professionals for the last 20 years, many of whom I get to work with every day.
Time to Train it forward.
- Hide the product and show it to nobody. Product training? Keep it hidden. Wrap in a blanket, hide it until the 27th slide and never give it a name until you absolutely must. Instead focus 70% of your product training on what this product does and not what it is. What problems this product solves or what opportunities it creates is what you obsessively train about!
- Quit asking people to participate in training. Instead, call on specific people to participate. No volunteers unless you’ve already called on at least two people to answer questions or offer insight. The small tension of not knowing when you might be called on (and potentially embarrassing yourself) is enough to force learners to focus harder (especially in virtual training) and thus retain and retrieve knowledge better.
- Training should be harder than you think. Adding a little more stress to training (live, virtual or self-directed) and the more likely it sticks. Are learners nervous about the training? Anxious? Worried about a tough test at the end? Remember to disregard all the adult learning theory blather from the 80’s you think is the gold standard and latch onto all the recent credible research about the brain and how people truly learn.
- Video Should Be Part of Every Training. I still believe the skill of a training facilitator is the most important factor in any successful facilitated training. And that’s why video is a win-win. Every training should have a video element. When it’s short (less than 3 minutes please) it’s therefor retrievable and repeatable and of course it’s imagery on steroids. When done well, video can tackle aspects of learning that leave the facilitator able to focus on the application of learning and not obsessed with the X’s and O’s.
- Skip the positive feedback in role plays: Make it clear in advance of any role play (live or virtual) that we are all going to focus on what you can do better, not what you did well – we know what you did well, that’s fairly easy to see – so focusing equally on the good or “sandwiching” or “starting with the positive” is drivel and a waste of time. We’re here to learn and drive performance, make more money or get promoted – let’s get to it!
- Every training should have a Game(s) element however small. There are so few humans who don’t take a little joy, a little pride out of winning something – and that adds focus. Example: The learner or team with the most chips for great answers gets to leave a half hour early and skip the Wrap- Up ( heck they won- they probably don’t need the wrap up) or perhaps the winners take only the 5 question quiz ( again—they paid attention more and probably don’t need the 20 question quiz). Here’s a fantastic book by Karl Kapp
- Flashcards Flashcards Flashcards: One recent neuroscience study proved we did get it right back in the day when the use of flashcards in corporate learning improved retrieval of information at a clip twice as effective as just studying the material. Flashcard use actually leaves memory traces in the brain more resistant to forgetting. Here’s a simple flashcard maker site I’ve used.
Till next time,
Grow The Business.