When we were in school and/or college we became very accustomed to the lecture style of teaching which is still very much in vogue today. In this system teachers share their point of view and the attentive ones take copious notes while the rest drift off to “eyes open” sleep. Periodically a teacher comes along who is engaging, where knowledge is truly imparted and people actually learn something from the experience.
As adults we demand more of training because time is critical. Programs have had to become adapted to facilitate what has become known as “adult learning” because we want experiential, engaging and practical, unlike what we got at school. The following are key traits of such “learning that works” that should be considered relative to the personal or professional developmental decisions you might have to make.
- Content – this needs to be relevant and the new knowledge must enhance some aspect of your capability.
- Environment – how the space is arranged and facilities available creates engagement that ensures a conducive setting for learning.
- Teachers – subject matter expertise builds credibility and the motivation to learn; great teaching style connects the content and the student.
- Participants – minds need to be freed to receive and process new knowledge. Ensure separation from daily routine by moving offsite and limiting cell phone usage.
- Coaching – there has to be some mechanism to translate the learning into real world application. Having some accountability and support via coaching can make this happen.
These may seem very obvious but are often overlooked due to other conflicting priorities. Billions of dollars are spent annually on training, yet the full return is often not realized due to the absence of one or more of the above. Take the time to do your due diligence and you will see the training ROI.