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​Your Learners are Human

You're constantly bombarded with books, whitepapers, and webinars about how to capture the attention of your learners. Of course, we read them for the right reasons - we are trying to make engagement and efficiency that much better for our company. The problem is that we are all so wrapped up in how to "capture" our learner that we often forget our learners really are just like us. They are motivated by certain things and resistant to others; they are human.

Maybe we are overthinking what our learners need. ATD posted an article titled, "Seven Tricks to Make Learning Stick". Of course, I was intrigued. When I read the article I was struck by the fact that they addressed the learner in a different way than other similar articles. Their tips were to tell stories, to hit them emotionally, and to make them believers - it's a list nearly full of warm fuzzies, but they all make sense.

Show your learner how the knowledge helps them

"When people believe in the value of change, they are motivated to make it happen." You need to sell the benefits.

Create an emotional connection

"Harness the power of positive stress to make people pay attention to new ways of behaving - but only when the stress is accompanied by a clear solution."

Grasp the power of storytelling, and use it well

"Training presentations often are crammed full of data and statistics in an effort to win over skeptics," but "stories resonate emotionally with participants, are easier for recall, and ultimately lead to great behavior change."

Tell your learners when and where to apply the learning

"Introducing situational cues about when and where to apply learning decreases mental effort and makes it more likely people will follow through."

Break free from functional fixedness

"It's all very well being given a tool in a classroom, but unless we make it blindingly obvious when and where it can be used, it won't stick. People need help to recognize how something they learned in one situation can be used in a different environment."

Prep your learners to think for themselves

"Our behavior and performance is constantly affected by what's going on around us." So we can use that to our advantage before and during an event by priming "participants to think of themselves as resilient, reflective, and resourceful - all traits of great learners."

Break down learning into managable chunks

"Bite-sized learning is proved to produce 17 percent greater transfer and is 30 percent cheaper than a traditional approach, with less time out of the office and lower delivery costs."

Making it actionable

As the article pointed out, most of us are burdened with the fact that only "20 percent of trainees will actually change the way they work as a result [of training]." Chances are you are looking for ways to change the statistic so test out these 7 softer, more human approaches to making your learning stick.

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Sydney Nordquist

Not to mention refreshing, positive and downright invigorating. Should we expect anything less from a personality that absolutely bubbles…

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