When we look back on our lives and think about the major ‘lessons’ that we’ve learned, we probably think of life changing events. Perhaps, once, we were a reckless driver and we survived a terrible accident. Or maybe we tried to get away with something and got caught (lets go with taxes and keep this light…). Maybe it was something as simple as a grandparent telling you stories of their mistakes from the past and why you should adopt certain life-philosophies. As different as they maybe, these are the lessons that we remember when we look back on our lives.
I learned fairly early on to tell the truth because I had got caught in a big ol’ lie, and did not like how I felt during or afterwards. For the record, I had told my dad I was going to do one thing and did something that was quite different. Guess who found out! Dad! And I’ve told only the truth ever since (for the most part). There are several reasons to tell the truth and one of them is that it’s just easier. Transparency is a beautiful thing.
Where’s the tie-in? The first take-away for you is that I’m an honest guy. But the major point is, in our lives we’ve seen those moments that we will never forget and that help us guide our lives on a daily basis. Without taking our role as trainers too seriously, this is more or less what we do. We take knowledge that individuals need to apply in their roles and try to give it to them in a way that is both impactful and memorable.
What we should do is look at our own experiences and reflect on why those memories stay with us.
The most memorable moments in our lives have in some way revolved around us. Either we were in the epicenter of the event or directly on the side. Proximity. Our lives or the lives of loved ones were involved. Personal Investment. Each of these transformative events had some tangible value to our lives. Immediate and lasting value.
Now, unless you are living in a ‘Truman Show’ style world you may not be able to replicate these conditions in your training environment so what can we do?
How can we get our learners involved in the learning? Create learner-centred engaging learning events. Use the knowledge that they are bringing to the table and let them build on it. Let them share it.
Have your learners get as involved as possible in the event. It’s about them, after all, so have them learn the material and teach each other.
Immediate and lasting value
‘Whats in it for me’ should be the very first thing thats covered. Give them very tangible examples of immediate value that they will find in their roles with the training that you’re sharing with them.
We ask our trainees to look back on their lives for the experience they bring to the training room and we should do the same.