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A weekly kick-off e-message from Katherine Eitel

to breathe life back into your practice, your team, and you!


July 4, 2011

One Bite at a Time

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Whether you are a doctor educating a patient, a dental assistant training a new employee on your software charting system, a trainer coaching a new verbal skill, an educator teaching students, or a grandparent showing your grandchild how to bait a hook, we all have frequent opportunities to teach a little better.  Both learner and teacher have a mutual responsibility in creating successful exchanges of new information leading to an improved outcome for the learner.  However, from a teaching position, we have little control over the student's state.  The only thing we can control is our own level of instructional expertise.  I'd like to offer a couple of tips over the next several weeks which I hope will improve your teaching skills the next time you find yourself with this opportunity. 
One Bite at a Time:
puzzle piecesHow many times, while putting a jigsaw puzzle together, did you look at the finished picture on the front of the box?  Did you separate the pieces in color blocks and straight-edged pieces?  This is a great analogy for training.  Learning happens best when the student can see the big picture, where they're ultimately headed, as well as having the puzzle laid out for them in "chunks" or groups of information.
For example, when I teach phone skills, I play a "bad" phone call and then a "good" one and have the audience discuss the difference between the two.  They've now seen the "big picture" or where we are ultimately headed.  I then break a great phone call down into 4 large parts (like the outside frame of a puzzle,) the foundational structure of the call.  Then we spend time, dissecting the 4 parts, using exercises, fun, and skills practice.  At the end, we put it all together and celebrate the integration of our new, improved skills and understandings.
So, help them see the big picture, break it down into its core, foundational parts, and then go deeper with exercises, fun, and practice.  Oh, and don't forget to celebrate!
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PS: And speaking of celebrating, Fourth of July always reminds me that I'm able to write my musings, opinions, and ideas as freely as I want every week and all of you may respond to them in any way you'd like and not one of us has a moment of worry about any recourse or punishment being pressed upon us for publishing those thoughts or beliefs. Isn't it a grand way of life, this democracy, and isn't it worth celebrating and honoring those who imagined, created, and defended it so that we might enjoy it every day of our lives? Happy Independence Day to all of you!


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Want your team to "buy in" to new information
Or to motivate and engage them at your next meeting?   

The Lioness Principle's

Training Exercises & Testing Components
75 of Katherine's favorite training exercises are now available to office managers, practice owners, and other healthcare trainers...  Openers, Topic Introductions, Reviews, Teambuilding, Testing Components, Energizers, and Closers.   Every exercise comes with detailed instructions, materials needed, group size, time requirements, and suggested alternatives; organized with detailed table of contents, all in a customizable format so you can easily add your own ideas and alternatives.   (View Sample)


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"Who dares to teach must never cease to learn." 
~ John Cotton Dana

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with Pilates Instructor, author, speaker, & educator,
Juli Kagan. 
This Week's Video:  Bagel, Paint Brush & Marionette 


Learn more about Juli and view her Video Library at:  


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