When you’re angry you’ll give the best speech you’ll ever regret…
John, a manager wants to make a change. He wants his people to start using a new software program, and stop using an old one. John explains to his team:
‘This program will make your life easier, save you time, and it’s easy to use. Here is an e-learning explaining how to use it, let me know if you have any questions’
Johns team, have a look at the e-learning, and they understand that John wants them to do it, they have a look at the e-learning and quickly get bored, and rapidly switch to watching YouTube videos of dancing penguins.
When John is walking around the office, everyone has the new program open, but when he is not looking they continue to do what they’ve always done, using the old system.
John decides that he needs to ‘reinforce the change,’ so he sits besides the team members one by one and demonstrates the behaviour expected, and re-iterates that he expects to see this behaviour in the future.
Obviously this doesn’t work either and here is why.
I believe there is a fundamental flaw with the premise to ‘reinforce change’ or ‘reinforce learning’ and that this flaw is an excuse to not look at ourselves as leaders, change agents or learning designers. Simply put.
Did John make people want to do it?
For you, for me, or for anyone to learn, or to practice what we’ve learned, we need to want to do it. The idea of reinforcement comes in because the initial approach to change only looked at the behaviour – the what needs to change, and failed to look at why this change would be better, from the point of view of the participant or the learner.
Milton Erickson, the famous psychologist, was a master of helping people make changes. Erickson had a basic premise, which is that, when people experience a better option, they will invariably go for the better option.
If the option looks like it makes no difference, or it is not clearly a better option, then why would I as a learner or someone who is part of a change management program want to take it, instead of doing what I am already doing?
We, you and I, as leaders, or learning designers, or change managers need to work harder with people to create an environment that respects people, that respects what they do already works, and that they already have an intelligent approach.
We need to ask ourselves is what we are proposing REALLY a better option.
‘Reinforcing learning’ assumes that the problem is with the learner or participant who is refusing to change (for whatever reason). I think that the problem is with us, with our presentation of the options, or providing the experience of a better option.
It is worth considering questions like:
Why would someone want to do it, given what they do already works?
How can I show better options than are there already?
How can we work together to make some better options we can own together?
You might be wondering why the photograph above?
Plants simply grow in the right environment. People are the same.
There’s nothing new under the sun
Dale Carnegie’s ‘Effective Public Speaking’ contains a lot of insights still relevant today.
My #Sketchnote summary is attached – and having trained hundreds of people in various aspects of presentation skills I still found it interesting. Some examples include:
Fear prevents people from doing it
Practice reduces fear
Be your authentic self and reflect on what life has taught you, and connect this to what is relevant for the audience.
Identifying insights from particular incidents and relating the story with enthusiasm, a sense of suspense and with vivid details.
The Gandalf of presentations sharing his magic.
Don’t read the attached #sketchnote of ‘How to fail at almost everything and still win big’ by Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame), unless you want to live dangerously and follow a cartoonists advice.
(Disclosure: Scott suggests cartoonist advice almost never ends well)
Having listened to Scotts advice on writing I decided to read his book. As you might suspect it has humour, a quirky worldview and takes unexpected twists.
Interesting insights are combined with autobiographical details from a persuasive writer with training as a hypnotist, who has an investment portfolio, and a history of starting businesses all while writing the juggernaut that is Dilbert.
Attached are my #sketchnotes.
Lessons on being succinct, engaging readers, and being humorous from Dilbert author – Scott Adams – #sketchnotes
(Headline following his guidelines)
People don’t buy your product they buy you
This week I heard stories from amazing people of escaping through the iron curtain, of setting up businesses in the Middle East, of running for election, of the Berlin Wall and what it meant to look at it, without being able to pass, of going to Mombasa aged 16 to teach. Thanks to everyone who shared their stories.
So many people have amazing stories to tell, and their stories are incredibly memorable and incredibly different.
Which would you rather listen to – someone with 30 PowerPoint slides all about features and functions or a real human with a real story, especially if that story shows you how amazing all people are including you, or if you are talking to someone who shows you how you can have a future with a smile in it.
I know which I prefer. What would you prefer?
“Protect your audience. If you have to use bullets, use them sparingly”
A classic on presentation design for a reason – these are my ‘Sketchnotes’
Thanks to Franck Alfero for the book recommendation – Talk Lean –
Balance honesty and courtesy to have better conversations.
Some nice insights here on how to do it. Based on the work of Philippe De Lapoyade and his company interactifs