Why is Good Training Such a Lousy Investment? Part 2

Do you provide training? How valuable is the training you attend either for professional or personal development?  

In our post yesterday, I discussed typical experiences people describe about training, and I shared six key things that should be shaping the future of personal and professional development.  We discussed what training is, and what it is not, and listed some key elements that shape the human development processes that we provide.

And in yesterday’s article, I closed with another question: with the average person’s experience with training being less than desired (and the average company’s expectations from training seldom met), does my company provide training?
Well, no, we do not provide what could be classified as “entertrainment” anyway. 

First, we’re in the performance development business. We develop people who seek to make a difference in the world around them, regardless of the training, education or experience they already have, and this varies widely among our clients. When we get people focused on their own clearly articulated search for meaning, self-motivation kicks in and the outcome of “training” becomes transformational for both the individual and for the relationships, organizations and communities in which they play roles. (For example, it’s amazing how salespeople sell more once they discover a powerful personal reason for selling more!)

Second, we avoid the “one-hit wonder” approach to learning with our clients, instead providing multiple exposures to information and practice. You learned everything from your multiplication tables in elementary math to the theme song to “Fresh Prince of Belair”, not always through conscious practice but sometimes through quite unintentional repetition. For some reason adults come to believe they have outgrown the need for repetition, yet it is still how we learn most and how we learn best. So we build in repetition of concepts, tools and their applications to produce intended results.

Third, most training relies on discovery and impact within the confines of the training event. I like to believe I am a presenter and speaker that people enjoy and come to admire; I certainly get that kind of feedback from participants. But any charisma or lack thereof on my part won’t mean a lick of difference to you within hours of leaving my presence! You may come across a great idea that creates enormous impact with you, yet by the time you get back to your work floor it neither will seem as clear or as great as it was in the workshop. 

Most training relies on discovery and impact learning, yet these are hard to replicate or the impact is negative and destructive rather than performance-enhancing. Development opportunities must be designed to help you put ideas into practice by developing new attitudes and habits to compliment your skills and knowledge. This emphasis, along with repetition, creates lasting impact. With the addition of goal-setting and achievement, not only will you create lasting impact, you will produce measurable results.

Fourth, most training concepts remain external to the personal motivations of participants. Well-designed development processes allow participants to discover the concepts and applications that mean the most to them now.  This is one of the reasons I introduce my Leadership Institute kickoff sessions by stating that my intent is less about “teaching” a particular set of leadership competencies or techniques and more about providing a safe place to ask dangerous questions, about yourself or anything. Rather than leadership “training”, consider the PDN Leadership process as the opportunity to envision, practice and become the kind of leader you really want to be.

But the intention here is not so much to “sell” you on our leadership development or other processes, although we would love to partner with you in your continuing development. My intention is to challenge you to rethink your own approach to human development and performance improvement. 

I hope I’ve given you ample food for thought. Keep checking back at The Intersection of Purpose and Now for more information.

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About pdncoach

A Go-Giver business coach working with leaders whose success depends on the performance and productivity of others. I coach individual leaders and their teams... in small to mid-size businesses, ministries and non-profits... to accelerate their results and achieve dreams by getting past the difficult, strategic challenges of their current realities.
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