You can’t change behaviours without creating disturbance. If people are happy with how they do things now, they are unlikely to change. Part of training is the process of disturbing them from their current perspective and helping them to chart a way forward in a new direction.
If you want to create ripples in the pool, you have to choose what size stone to throw into it. Too small, and the ripples will go unnoticed, too large, and there’s a huge splash that drenches you. Finding the right size stone is the challenge.
Often, as individuals, we don’t perceive that what we are doing is wrong. Whatever the subject, be it sales skills, running review meetings or doing a presentation, we may well believe that what we do is good, or at least, good enough. And we may be right. But there are always things that we could do differently, and this is where the disturbance comes in.
It may be that we simply need to illustrate better conversations, to try to create in people a desire to emulate those conversations, in the hope that they will then be more receptive to the training. Or it might be that we need to throw a bigger stone, to make explicit where current behaviours and results are below standard, to make it clear that change is required. Whichever approach we take, we need to ensure that we are bold enough.
What i mean by this is that there is a tendency to stick to formulae in the design and delivery of training. We do something once, it works, so we do it again. But this is the same behaviour that the learners are demonstrating. It’s good enough, so we do it again. Sometimes, we need to be bold and throw a bigger stone. Do something different, look to inspire others through our energy and vision.
This might be in terms of challenging assumptions about ‘how things are done around here’, or it might be in terms of structuring a programme in a different way. It could be as simple as changing the tone of voice we use with learners, to introduce more challenge, or different types of support, or different media. Maybe try to do something different, use a blog, use a forum, change the format of a day, throw a stone.
Measure feedback and responses and see if this can provide evidence to do it again or try something new. If we do what we’ve always done, we’ll get what we’ve always got. Throw a stone.