So, let's review. (You'll recognize the irony in just a second!
) So far, in our quest to teach and train others better, we've covered three tips:
- One Bite at a Time
- Discovery vs. Delivery
- Play vs. Push
Now, let's add #4: Review and Test (See? What'd I tell ya?
I have the pleasure and the luxury of speaking to and training some REALLY smart people; Most of them with college degrees, many of them with Doctorates and Masters. And yet, I can give them the most simplistic of principles... let's say, The Lioness Principle, for example... and if I teach it to them (even slowly and with great examples) and then immediately ask them to turn to a partner and recite and explain the principle... they can hardly do it without referring to their notes. Now, I love The Lioness Principle but even I know it's not quantum physics material. Why then is something so simple so difficult for such smart people? For the same reason that really smart people who work for you continue to do something one way when you've repeatedly explained how to do it otherwise. IQ is not enough. Doing, reviewing, and testing...is.
When I finally learned this, I realized that when I was exhausted after a client training it usually meant that I had done all the work! In the best of trainings, the participants should be the ones feeling happily tired... not me. They should be the ones that stretched and learned and grew. It's up to me as a trainer to see that they are given plenty of opportunities to "struggle" through the new learning. Remember this: When you're talking, they're hearing. When they're talking, they're learning.
The best way to get them talking, and consequently moving the data from "hearing to learning," is to involve them in a review or test (the difference being open or closed-book) at least every half hour.
This comes from a rule we use in training called the 90-20-8 Rule which is based on research showing that adults can listen with attention for 90 minutes but can only listen with retention for 20. Beyond that they can see your lips moving but nobody's home! After 20 minutes, people start to look right at you and daydream or wander in their minds. You keep talking and, based on their eye contact, assume they are listening and learning while they are visiting some other planet on their minds. Your trainees need to do some talking, thinking, drawing, writing, moving - something that engages them and asks them to recite and store the data that has already been presented every half hour. There are literally hundreds of ways to creatively review material for long-term retention but for now, just remember this: Every half hour stop talking and (at a minimum) ask your trainee to tell you what they remember so far (or what they feel is most important, etc.) in terms of the information you've just covered. That alone will accelerate your training results. If you wait until the end of your 2-hour training to test your participants and they score less than a satisfactory grade, who really failed? The student or the teacher?
Besides... your lips need a break too, don't you think?