How to have training fail

How to have training fail
23rd July 2018 Michael

We all want our training to succeed. To have the training attendees of our clear, objective and keenly felt words of wisdom, soak up these scattered pearls in their minds. Then, hoping later, for the training to be evidenced in a dazzling display of performance to boost the bottom line. But everything remains the same.

So what happened?

Here are some ideas around training when it doesn’t ‘stick’, but appears to slide out of teflon-coated minds as they exit the training room. If you squint, you can see the pearls falling to the floor.

1 – Adapt your style to match your audience’s learning styles. It’s not about you and how brilliant the metaphors are, it’s making sure you cover the range of learning styles so that all audience members can connect with the content you’ve delivering. AVKI – audio, visual, kinesthetic, eidetic (thinking): “you can hear when the lever engages, you’ll see the indicator change to red and feel the clunk as the lever contacts, as you review the instructions you can follow those details on the device.” Allow time for processing and questions.


2 – Make the training relevant to the audience. Included in this one is to make the event memorable, but the content not. To ensure failure, make the content of you training irrelevant to the audience you have in front of you. When you are doing a course on 30kg+ hazardous materials handling, make sure office staff attend too.

Another good trick is to present concepts and information, but how the audience can use them and apply them in their daily work, is not. This learning experience is described as “off-the-shelf”. Training is conducted, but it is not successful because the audience do not see the concepts they are learning as relevant to their daily tasks and requirements. They’ll leave without any pearls and think the training was a waste of time. Perfect.


3 – Flood the audience with too much information so they have no chance of sifting through all of it to find information relevant to them and their tasks. Bundle your content into large chunks of information, which prevents the audience from internalising, processing and understanding the information. then quickly move onto the next topic. They wont be able to develop any questions so you’ll have a blank response when asking if there are any questions.


Sure this is a tongue-in-cheek presentation of the certain failure routes for training, but it serves to remind us of the importance of getting it right.




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