My ruminations about people who haven’t prepared themselves to fully partake in training
Okay, so this is a bit of a rant, I’ll admit it. I just gave a teleclass this week, with a focus on competitive advantage. I always send prework to folks, asking them to read the material and be prepared to share their expectations for the class. When we did introductions the other night, several of the participants came up with the lackluster response of, “I want to learn what I can about the topic.” Now while their open-ended comment may appear laudable to some, to me it’s the death knell to commitment. (Perhaps I am engaging in a bit of hyperbole here... yet I feel passionately about this!) I really believe (as the quote in my email signature states, “In the end, we only hit what we aim at” (Thoreau) and my thinking is that these folks were aiming too low! I want learners to be as concrete about their expectations as possible: I am waiting to hear people say, “I want to learn the difference between strengths and competitive advantages” or “I want to identify three competitive advantages that I have/my company has” or I want to learn how to quantify my competitive advantages so that I can share that information with my clients and prospects. And if participants state expectations that are off the mark for the class - that’s okay! I need to know where they are coming from and perhaps steer them back to the stated objectives of the class. (And if the class isn’t a good fit for them, then they should know that too - and choose to stay or go.) As you can well imagine, the folks who came to the class with the clearest expectations left the most satisfied... those that ‘learned more about the topic” didn’t really have a plan for what they were going to do with that information. So, I guess I have been clear about my expectations! Folks should always have ‘em!
Now my three day class last week, that was a class full of folks who clearly articulated what they wanted - and when we closed the class I checked in with them. As you can imagine - they got it! It was a class in which everyone grew into the material and left feeling that they had new knowledge, skills, and attitudes about the content and processes learned. They were walking out prepared to go back to work and implement their new abilities. How awesome is that! (And it generates so much good feeling too!)