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ASK, NOT TELL

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  • David

Not only WHY and HOW, but SO WHAT

Updated: Mar 20



I was getting my daughter to brush her teeth this morning.  A thought came to my mind – if we ask 100 people around us the following 3 questions:


Q1 - Is teeth-brushing important? Q2 - Show me the right way to brush your teeth. Q3 - Do you brush your teeth everyday in the last 12 months?


I believe that we will get almost 100% ‘Yes’ for Q1 and correct answer for Q2, but much fewer ‘Yes’ for Q3. In other words, they know it is important to brush their teeth and how to do it, but they do not really do it. And which question matters the most? Of course, Q3. I consider myself failed if my daughter does not really brush her tooth though she knows why and how to brush her tooth.


So, what is the implication to training?


When I reflect on the training courses around me, most of them aim to tackle Q1 (i.e. Why) and Q2 (i.e. How). For example, in a one-day Job Interviewing Skills course, we brought out the consequence of conducting bad interviews e.g. cost of wrong hire (i.e. Why), and then we spent most of the time discussing and practicing skills like behavioral questions (i.e. How). What are we doing / can we do to tackle Q3?


· Goal Setting and Tracking – We will spend 5-15 minutes at the course end for the learners to write down their action steps back in the workplace. We then put the goals on a platform e.g. website on which the learners can update how they implement their goals, and more importantly creates atmosphere giving them more motivated to implement. An example of such website is www.friday5.com.


· Phased Learning Approach – The key to yield ‘Yes’ to Q3 for my daughter is whether she is motivated to form a habit after she learns the ‘HOW”. It takes 21 days to form a habit. So, this means we should set the learners to apply the learning after the training event. This can be in the form of Action Learning projects.


· Cooperation with Business Leader –The learners’ line manager is the best person in the post-workshop learning process. The line managers can make them practice the learning into their daily work. They can also impose consequence in motivating the learners to apply the learning


I believe that there is more. Your idea is most welcomed!!!


In some sense, this is basically a discussion of L4 effectiveness vs L3. Just that when I look at it from the perspective of whether my daughter will really brush her teeth, a good L4 result becomes non-negotiable!!

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