If you’re leading a training session with your staff, follow adult learning principles to ensure that everyone absorbs your main points. First, introduce a difficulty that the group feels compelled to overcome. For example, present a vexing problem that affects everyone and say, “Each of you in this room can help solve it.” Then assume that individuals will learn new skills slowly—not in one fell swoop. Break large, ambitious goals into multistep processes so that participants can build upon their mastery of each task. Finally, make sure they practice and demonstrate what you’re asking them to do every step of the way. If you lecture, the group won’t retain what you tell them. But if you give them an immediate chance to “show” what you “tell,” then they’ll stay alert and get ongoing feedback as they apply what they learn.
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