I Did Less. They Gained More.

training, learning, competence. facilitation, coaching, Yan Maschke, Cleveland Ohio

When people say that they wished they had more time with you, it’s typically a good sign. 

What Worked Well? 

I was the guest speaker at an event a couple of days ago. The topic was “Powerful Listening”. The highly favorable feedback from the group prompted this post. 

The program was not traditional training. I used only 2 PowerPoint slides to illustrate key concepts, participants used flip charts in breakout discussions and group presentations, more than half of the program time was devoted to facilitated hands-on practice and roles plays to help solidify their learning, then participants shared their reflections, key take-always and committed actions. 

The energy in the room was high! Many people said they wished we had more time. 

This approach drew out the knowledge and inner wisdom from the participants, and I helped organize their wisdom into a helpful framework. With the active physical engagement, they walked away feeling that they were able to embody their learning and they knew how to continue their practice. 

Their positive feedback strengthened my belief in what's key to learning and developed competence. 

"Pull-Style Learning" Is Far More Effective than "Push-Style Training" 

Information is not knowledge until the receiver develops an insight internally . There is a reason why the word “insight” starts with “in”. 

To be impactful, it takes a pull-style coaching approach  when sharing information and imparting knowledge. 

That's why I refer to my group sessions as "facilitated learning" and not "training".

Cognition Is Not Enough. 

Just because we have developed an insight (knowledge) from the learning process, it doesn’t mean we have gained the competence in real life behaviors. How many times have you known people going to training classes with great insight during (or right after) the class but no long-term change in in real life?

Association for Training and Development shared that  corporate working professionals apply  only about 15% of what they learn in many corporate training and development programs. 

Competence takes repeated practice so that the desired behavior (such as powerful listening behaviors) becomes automatic even under stress. 

Effective learning happens when the learner not only is “getting” it cognitively, but also walks away with a felt-sense of knowing and begins to model behaviors at a somatic / physical level. 

The Learning Pyramid powerfully illustrates the importance of integrating auditory (listening), visual (seeing), and kinesthetic (feeling and touching/acting) learning for maximum results. The key to learning retention and meaningful change is engaging the body in building new behavioral habits.

Call For Action 

As leaders, educators, advisors, community and family members, we all play a key role in advocating our vision and inspiring others to learn and develop competencies. 

We can be far more effective in doing so not only by imparting our wisdom, but also by facilitating learning using a pull-style coaching approach, and by creating and holding the space for repeated practice in a safe environment. 

What do you think? 

What may be one thing you could do differently next week? 

What insights can you share with others?