The title of this article already presents the obvious problem of “experienced” professionals who think they had it all figured out. The truth is no one can claim he or she figured it ALL out already. And that is the primary reason why there are training programs in the first place. And this is where the crisis point lies. How do you actually train professionals who are just so sure they do not need any more training to be better t at what they do?
Perhaps the first thing that can be done is to create the need to learn for seasoned professionals. Breaking that wall of resistance is the first priority for trainers. In skipping that they might as well pack up their bags and leave because learning will not occur with people yawning on each exciting idea the trainer thought could help his or her audience.
Challenge what they know
The best way to break the wall of resistance to learning is to challenge people on the get go. The first part of the training should help participants realize that there is still more to learn. A good example for this is to initiate an activity that forces them to negotiate with each other, for example– and then use that activity in the processing later on highlighting what they could have done to get through the activity best. This can make them vulnerable, questioning their own abilities, thus shattering that know-it-all attitude.
Document before and after performance
Recording a video for simulation activities is very effective in teaching professionals new ways of doing things. Talented and confident people, the kind of audience that is likely very resistant to training activities, are also self-aware and honest with themselves. Videos can help them reflect on their simulation performance. It is very likely that they will be their own worst critic. This can be the very window trainers need to get into their audience through one-on-one sessions. The “after” video can also be a powerful tool to show them that they are learning and that through the training program they are able to improve their performance. This can help trainers reinforce learning and stir the need for continuous learning among the participants.
Get them talking with each other using new methods
Group discussions are great but only to a certain degree. Sooner or later these group discussions, especially done multiple times all throughout the training can become routine, boring, and ineffective in encouraging dynamic group learning. What can be done? Simple polls of the participants’ take on certain points being discussed in the training program can be enough to get everybody on the edge, making them very eager to express what they think. This can help the group move forward with vibrant discussions.
By creating that need to learn, and then showing training participants that indeed there is still room to learn (and that they are learning), can be enough to get them on the best spot to absorb and apply what is being passed down to them.