Most organizations struggle with achieving sustained behavioral change as a result of training.
There are a myriad of excuses that we use: lack of follow up, unsupportive managers, processes that prevent application, or a culture that is counter to the new behavior. But most often it comes down to lack of practice. In order to achieve real, measurable behavioral change, individuals need to be guided, supported and measured on practicing what they’ve learned. Only through experience do we bridge the gap between knowing and doing. Most of us with children early on declared our kids ‘would never do that’ in reference to misbehavior by someone else’s children. And each one of us soon learned that there is a massive difference between ‘knowing about raising kids’ – and raising them.
By legitimizing a process of applied practice, we have the opportunity to help our people not only gain knowledge and develop skills, but to then build a culture of development. What is culture but the sum total of our collective practice? So, the question is how then? Like most, we recognize value in the guidance and support that individuals gain from a mentoring relationship. We also place a high priority on coaching (peer coaching is one of the most powerful experiences in any curriculum). So why not tie all of these things together toward true skill development?
The following methodology for a ‘process of practice’ is well grounded in the simple truths of our day. There are essentially three types of developmental opportunities available; knowledge based learning, coaching and mentoring relationships, and action-based opportunities. This blend, given proper deployment, is the only way to overcome the inertia and inefficiencies of daily habit.
Knowledge based training involves the combination of instructor-led and targeted e-learning with a structured forum for shared experience in the learning journey. Keep in mind; what is learned has yet to become normalized…to become habit.
Coaching and Mentoring Activities
Coaching and mentoring activities have long been used with a wide range of outcomes. What makes some of them highly successful? Coaches and coachees excited and encouraged by the opportunity. This freely given perspective of another who’s already been down the path accelerates your learning curve.
Action based development, or experience based development is the capstone in that we place the desired competencies within the most personal and therefore most relevant context available – ones own work environment! Proven methodology creates knowledge-based training opportunities, adds action-based developmental experience – and wraps it all in a powerful support system of mentoring and coaching for developmental feedback. Each component has a job to do. One falls far short without the other – together they compound impact.