Cracking her whip, the lion trainer runs these noble beasts through their paces in preparation for the upcoming circus show. At Sea World and other marine parks, trainers of aquatic animals go through their own training regimens, rewarding their charges with handfuls of fish. This is training, and training is best left for animals, not people.
You may find this commentary odd coming from a guy referred to, at times, as a trainer. While it’s true that I teach leaders and some staff, in addition to my consulting work, I’m an educator, not a trainer, as I don’t work with animals.
Education, done well and done right, is not training. Training works for animals because of the repetitive nature of the act of getting a lion or a killer whale to perform a task for a reward. Humans, while they benefit from repetition and rewards, also require additional interventions. These include:
Countermeasures for the human tendency of making the simple, complex.
Animals don’t have the cognitive ability to convert what’s simple to something complex. Humans, on the other hand, are masterful at making things much more complicated than they need to be. To counter this, quality education must promote simplicity, a systematic approach, and methods that are sustainable. These countermeasures mitigate or eliminate our innate foibles, especially when it comes to making mountains out of molehills.
Opportunities to apply what’s been learned.
Practice is said to make perfect. While it’s rare that humans achieve anything near sustained perfection at anything, we need more opportunities to try out new skills and behaviors. It’s through repetition that we gain mastery, and trying to master any approach or technique only in conversations and meetings with prospects, clients, and candidates often leads to poor or even disastrous results.
Radical Accountability to counter the momentum of the status quo.
Momentum keeps an object going in the same direction. Since the pull of the status quo is so strong, it takes something even stronger, Radical Accountability, to break the momentum and create a sustainable shift in the opposite direction.
By stopping training and starting education, you and your organization can start creating real learning opportunities that benefit all parties.
This Week’s Radical Accountability Activating Action: Begin to employ the three interventions to shift from a training culture to a sustainable learning environment.
Want to learn more about Radical Accountability? This topic is just one of many covered on GAIN. Learn more about GAIN.
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