Thursday, 18 May 2017

The trouble with training

It’s more important for success than technology, strategy, and even products. The only way for your organisation to survive and thrive in the long run is the ability to keep developing your staff. 

Having spent the last ten years designing and delivering interpersonal skills training and leadership development programs for dozens of companies in both Europe and Western Australia, I’ve seen a lot of what works. And what doesn’t.

I believe it is time for some new rules to make training more productive than problematic. 
Starting with these 3 hard-and-fast rules:  

Rule 1: 70-20-10
Have you ever sat in a classroom all day for a training program, wondering “how much longer??” Of all the things we do to educate, the least valuable of all are the endless hours we force people to sit still and … “learn”. The 70-20-10 rule suggests learning from challenging assignments like role play simulations should account for 70% of training time, with 20% from peer-to-peer learning and just 10% from traditional coursework. A great training program integrates all three. 

Rule 2: Eat your own cooking
I find it fascinating when I get asked to roll out a leadership development program to managers without the participation of senior executives. There is no replacement for them being involved as teachers, facilitators and coaches. And maybe even more important, if the CEO thinks it’s wise for middle managers to learn about, say, soft skills, why is the top management team not doing the same or similar? Not only does participation enhance the credibility, but it also helps share a common logic and language.

Rule 3: Customise to your world
Business schools and training organisations love to sell stuff off the shelf. It’s easier, it’s proven, it’s faster. But what works in the mining industry in Perth is not necessarily right in financial services in Sydney. Just like the best managers customise how they manage people on their teams, the same is true about the specific experience and content needed to train a group of individuals. How could it not be? One size most definitely does not fit all.

Nowadays vast amounts of money — into the tens of billions — are spent on training every year, but the return on investment in many cases doesn’t ad up. So make sure you don’t give the green light for yet another round, magically hoping that results will materialise while not doing anything different. 

Curious about how our Experiential Learning Solutions? Contact us here for a chat.  

Monday, 1 May 2017

3 Benefits of making role play part of training

Benefits of Role-Play
Here are just a few of the benefits of making role-play a part of your business training:

  1. 1. It builds confidence: When your team role-plays, you can throw any number of situations at them. Role-playing provides a safe environment to encounter these scenarios for the first time, which builds confidence in team members that can help them in their day-to-day roles.
  2. 2. It develops great listening skills: Good role-playing requires good listening skills. In addition to understanding the words the other person is saying, it’s important to pay attention to body language and non-verbal clues. Better to have your team develop these skills while role-playing than when they’re trying to perform in the real world.
  3. 3. Creative problem-solving: No matter how outlandish a situation you create in a controlled environment, generally, something even more bizarre is bound to happen on the job. Role-playing will at least give your team the chance to get some experience in handling difficult situations and in developing creative problem-solving skills.

How to Start Role-Playing
While most organizations prefer to hire a professional facilitator for the most effective role-play, here are a few tips for doing it yourself:
  • Use actual locations: The best role-play is as realistic as possible. Put participants in the physical locations where they actually would experience the scenarios you’re trying to replicate, whether that’s the boardroom, the warehouse, or an executive’s office.
  • Videotape your role-play: Videotaping the participants in role-playing scenarios is a valuable teaching tool. It allows people to see themselves—and their strengths and weaknesses, which can be quite powerful. It also allows them (and you) to “record” improvement as they progress.
  • Imitate real-world scenarios: This is perhaps one of the easiest forms of role-play training to execute yourself. Give the “customers” or “clients” a personality profile and list of objectives that the trainee doesn’t know about. Make the goal to determine the “customer’s” objectives.

Getting an authentic role-play experience from your team may be difficult to do on your own. Bring in consultants and professional actors to get the training your team deserves. At InterACT we design and deliver experiential learning solutions that use the power of role play to help people interACT even better. Contact us here and we are happy to tell you more.