Most training and learning events are designed with what are commonly referred to as learning objectives. After completing this workshop, course or simulation participants will be able to do the following. A list of results are predetermined to elicit a connection between what we can do now and what we can expect to be able to do after this event. Learning objectives are essential to a reason for learning specific skills.
What I have learned over the years I’ve been in the learning profession is that some programs go way beyond the learning objectives that brought the program to your employees in the first place. I have discovered that with some training we do ourselves a disservice to limit the outcomes to the stated learning objectives, and that we should explore what could results beyond that list.
Now if you are training a rather straightforward set of skills, like how to use a particular software, or product training, there are probably a limited number of expectations. However, if you are training something like interpersonal communications you could easily find the list of benefits from these skills being implemented goes on for pages.
I’m a master trainer in social style for a company called The TRACOM Group. This means that I have not only trained many people in the understanding and use of social style in their interpersonal communications, but the company allows me to train other trainers in their program. Master trainer status is reserved for the individual who understands the materials and concepts at the core level. In my case, I fell hard for this material the first time I was exposed to it and incorporated it into my daily interactions with everyone I met. Even today, when I am struggling with a particular interaction, without thinking I start to assess what style they are and what I need to do differently to accommodate their needs.
In this blog I have often cited the need to match learning events to particular skills you want to build and/or issues you want to repair. Social Style training is often used to show people how to work and get along with people better, especially with “difficult personalities” when in fact we are all challenging to each other on some level. Yet I often implement social style learning into management development programs before a traditional list of courses. I find that once these skills become incorporated into a person, that we unleash unexpected results.
You see this demonstrated when people are asked 6 months later how management training has helped them become a better manager, and they go on to site situations where none of the curriculum ever directly spent time preparing them. It is with this information that you trace back their abilities to a program like social style that indirectly provided them with skills and abilities they found a use for. A tool in their toolbox that they used in a different way than it was designed to be used.
Learning should unleash results all the time, but what we should be doing more of is implementing learning that unleashes unexpected results. Talk about a win for everyone involved!