Fostering Behavior Change

What are the best practices for creating and delivering training that results in lasting skill and knowledge uptake and permanent behavior change?

 

By Bruce Tulgan

Everything is changing so fast, except for the Holy Grail of training: Training that sticks!

What are the best practices for creating and delivering training that results in lasting skill and knowledge uptake and permanent behavior change?

  1. Align learning goals 100 percent to meet clearly defined skill and knowledge gaps tied directly to concrete business outcomes that matter. How? Make needs assessment an ongoing dialogue with leaders at all levels.
  2. Make sure the content resonates. Zero in on the pain caused by the skill or knowledge gaps and make a persuasive case for how filling those gaps will ease the pain. The stickiest messages dovetail with what people already know. That’s why they laugh! Remind them of their pain, first. Then offer them some relief from that pain.
  3. Deliver the content so it is hard to forget. Aim at multiple memory centers. The stickiest part of the brain is emotional memory. Make them feel it viscerally—“ha ha!” “oh, no!” “aha!”
  4. Focus on actionable solutions. Offer a clear plan, concrete tools, and step-by-step techniques.
  5. Promote ongoing knowledge and skill development. Give learners takeaway information for continuing study and skills for continuing practice.
  6. Follow up. Schedule regular reminders, refreshers, discussion, and feedback.
  7. Ensure their real world of work supports actualizing the learning. Help learners’ leaders/managers and coworkers understand and buy into the tools, techniques, and action plans—before, during, and after the training.

For more information, contact: www.rainmakerthinking.com/blog; Twitter @brucetulgan; http://www.talkaboutthework.com; brucet@rainmakerthinking.com

Lorri Freifeld is the editor/publisher of Training magazine. She writes on a number of topics, including talent management, training technology, and leadership development. She spearheads two awards programs: the Training Top 100 and Emerging Training Leaders.