As a leader you are constantly training your team whether you realize it or not. The problem I think we often run in to is that people think they have “arrived” and that they no longer are learning.
The truth is that your brain is continually forming new paths and new ways of thinking IF you are training it to do that.
Recent research shows that an 88 year old will learn new brain patterns if taught…so you can teach an old dog a new trick!
The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that about 70 percent of learning during your lifetime is the result of experience. The question becomes how do you capitalize on that “on the job experience” so that what people are learning and practicing is what you want.
To make training become learning so it sticks it needs to have the following ingredients:
1. It needs to get at the belief level, not just the behavior level. Showing people what to do works when you have simple tasks but when you have complicated tasks you need people to develop a style of thinking that allows them to create guidelines that they can work within to reach decisions independent of you.
2. It has to be experiential. People learn best when they “experience” something in their own world. That is why all of our programs have people bring their own material to work on. We live in your world rather than drag you to our world. You need to see direct application to the challenges you face.
3. You need some visceral learning as well. Visceral learning allows others to learn off of others, stories, or situations so they can overcome fears.
4. It needs to be applicable in both their work and personal life. The more your training crosses between both worlds, the more people will naturally put to use their new skills they have learned. So build in examples of how they can use it both at work and at home. I am always in awe of the emails and letters we receive from people 5-10 years AFTER they have gone through a program sharing results they have had both at home and at work. We have had more people say, “this changed my marriage” and yet what we taught was how to develop a strategic communication that allows you to present your ideas to others.
5. The more accountability there is the more people will apply what they learn. The event is NOT the learning, it is the training. The LEARNING is the application of what they have been trained on. You want to build in accountability for practicing what they learned so they build new brain pathways.
Check over your current training to see if you have the above built in. If you don’t, you are most likely not seeing the strong results you should be from your training dollars. Personally I am big on metrics so we look for results from our clients of a 25% savings of time, an increase in productivity, a shortening of their sales cycle by up to 70% and a turnaround in tough relationships. Your training should save you time, money, and increase your productivity.