Saturday, June 18, 2011

Six simple things to increase tangible results from behavioural training

As a leader, it is quite natural to spend precious dollars on behavioural change training - such as client service orientation, communication effectiveness - and have a rather uneasy feeling about how much the training is going to result in tangible results and how much of the money you have spent is actually going into entertainment.

Here are a few things you can do:

1. Have a senior leader with credibility (in the eyes of the participants) 'kick off' the session. Ensure that the leader has been a stakeholder in the design and programming process of the training. That will ensure that she knows what is going on and doesn't have to read from a prepared speech. Authenticity helps.

2. Share details of the preparation that has gone into the training design and delivery. Quantify the hours that has gone into the training program design. The number of meetings that were held.

3. Talk about the need that led to the training. If the need was due to dipping customer feedback ratings, tell the participants that. Playing hide and seek is only going to keep the participants in uncertainty about why they found themselves in the training programme. Uncertainty is not good for learning.

4. Tell them that it's not about the facilitator/trainer. If possible, tell that in the presence of the facilitator. You are not spending money for the participants to sit through the workshop thinking about how good the facilitator is. Or for that matter, how good the food was. By rating the facilitator and the food, who is getting the feedback? The facilitator and the chef! Who is getting better at what they do? The facilitator and the chef! Who was supposed to get better? The participants. 

5. When you change behaviour, it feels funny! Well, that IS the idea. Do a small exercise. Ask the participants to cross and uncross their hands. Now, ask them to do that with the other configuration. What do they feel? Unease. Change leads to resistance. Learning for behavioural change is going to create unease. Tell them that if they feel uneasy during the session, it is quite normal. That is other than if they have a headache or a physical condition.

6. Tell them that the dollars spent need to have a high return on investment through positive behaviour change. You cannot do anything about it. Only they can. Enlist their support for it.

Doing the six simple things listed above can ensure that the participants in the training that you are spending your dollars on can have a little more effectiveness and result in participants willingly exploring positive behaviour change for themselves.

Life is short. Have fun. Create happiness.

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