When the employees take an active part, the training becomes part of them.
Seeing is Believing. Doing is Becoming.
We start with research of what cost companies recurrent losses and occasional catastrophic losses, and what are the patterns that negatively impact everyone’s quality of life at work. All corporations have training programs that have improved things to a certain limit. To go further we think below the surface. Then we need reaction to get results. That comes from trainees doing. Seeing correct models of behavior is the first step. Doing it yourself is the second step.
How do you get people to “do” an improved pattern of behavior? It is not a memorized set of steps. It is not even understanding. We’ve all seen doctors, health gurus and psychologists on TV with an appreciative audience listening. The audience nod their heads smiling in deep agreement and you see awareness on their faces as they hear this or that truth. How much change do you think results from this? We know the real key to reaction is hands-on practice.
Tell me the Bill Kiss Story.
Long time ago I owned a construction company. As part of project we installed motorized gates at the new AT&T Research Facility.
Mr. Kiss was the safety consultant. I was required to demonstrate the gate operator’s simple manual safety release mechanism to 200 of the country’s top engineers, lined up to the horizon. Ken: “Can’t I just give them a little instruction sheet?” Mr. Kiss: “Nope.”
First 19 came up one after another and did it fine. Oops! —the 20th guy had watched but wasn’t sure. Mr. Kiss said, “Show him again.” I did. The engineer said, “I got it.” Mr. Kiss said, “Have him do it.” He did it. Kiss: “Have him do it again.” He did.
Mr. Kiss said, “Just imagine if there had been fire engines and sirens blaring. Now he’ll never forget. You learn with your hands.”
Hands-on Practice Sessions
Reaction. To get from research of what the real problems are and ideas about how to solve them, to actual results that increase profits and improve life, we need to go through the all-important step of reactions. The audience has to become the stars and the performers. They need to re-act, interact, reenact and to do it themselves. Under duress or when split second decisions need to be made, are you confident your associates will make the right decision? Will they react the way you want them to?
Unspoken rules, unconscious action. A lot of what we do is on auto-pilot. The flightpath may be set by unspoken rules and conventions of which we are not even conscious. So “hands-on practice” in the context of changing how we deal with problems and habits means bringing these into the light of day. Next, learning how we can rewrite some rules to better serve us. Next, actually practicing things, speaking instead of just hearing. Doing instead of just watching. Walking around using our eyes and hands, guided in new ways, imperfectly at first, gaining feedback from a partner and instructor, until the correct behavior becomes part of our organizational DNA.
Text and subtext. Typical training is on the surface or text level. If the subject is Defusing Workplace Violence it will say things like “stay calm.” This doesn’t answer how you are supposed to do that. If the subject is health it may say eat more broccoli and take the stairs instead of the elevator, park farther away. Fine, but that’s not what I do, so how am I supposed to do that? By contrast, our training teaches text and subtext.
So in the defusing violence we are training self-confidence and compassion. How to center yourself. How to draw boundaries and extend beyond them when we choose. In health we are asking why we choose to be sick or not enjoy wellness. How do we get in touch with our unconscious mind and get that working for us? How do we make wellness a buddy system and community mindset and doing?
From one subject to the next it all connects and people become the goals set.