I am on the road doing training workshops and as I’m checking in with participants after the session I am always wondering how much they will retain and how many of the tips I give out will still be in use weeks or months later. When I do custom workshops, I build in follow up sessions as part of my itinerary, but that isn’t always in the plan for companies when they have their own agenda. I have to hope that managers attending are keen and able to motivate their teams as time goes on.
Sitting tonight in between workshop dates, I came across a great blog post by one of my sales mentors, Rick Segel. His post, “How Would You Define Learning?” is a great reminder about how motivation is a key part of retaining what we learn. He also talks about follow up, and that learning is really about progress. Since in a service environment we are working towards an ideal experience with our customers, the progress we want is a culture that promotes behaviours which make that kind of experience happen consistently. (See my last post about the importance of being consistent.)
Learning without a change in behavior is as useless as a parachute that opens on the first bounce.
I know that when I deal with only part of an organization, it can be especially tough for the participants to feel motivated to use the concepts. Everyone else might not be on the same page – if they don’t understand the behaviours I am encouraging, then success can be challenging across the organization. It can seem confusing.
Sometimes people wonder why I am there anyway, if communication is not clear on the purpose of the training. I don’t teach people how to smile, I coach them on learning how to help their customers smile by having the experience their company offers. If the attendees don’t know what the experience is supposed to be, or don’t understand how that might make people smile, then it can seem like the Hokey Pokey might as well be what we’re learning. (that example is just less painful to think about than a parachute that doesn’t open).
Do you love what you do? Are you able to communicate that to your customers? Do your staff, or colleagues, behave the same way? And lastly, how successful is the business? Learn about the changes in behaviour to make the most of the first 3 questions, and you will be able to add to your success – whatever it is that you do 🙂