The Ultimate goal of training isn't to transfer knowledge, it's to engage!

The Ultimate goal of training isn't to transfer knowledge, it's to engage!

Before we start today, do you have a cup of coffee or tea?

With a very simple question, it took just a moment for you to consider whether you are prepared for what is to come. This is important, because what we are doing is creating an effective space for information flow, discussion and decision making, and even though we might not be talking directly to one another, we can still engage with each other. You are in my world, I am in yours, and now we can collaborate.

A core goal of all training is to engage, but why?

Engagement is the process of opening lines of communication so that we can leverage to effectively transport what we want to say and have it efficiently received. When looking for the fastest information transfer route between A and B, we might intuitively feel that maximum information transfer is the best way, but this can lead to knowledge dumping and as we have discussed earlier, it isn't very effective. However, if we can create an environment that is primed for the reception of information, what we transfer is more likely absorbed and most importantly, applied.

For a moment, let's consider what engages us during a training event - Is it a topic of interest, when you feel you are learning, the possibility of benefits, or if a speaker is passionate about what they are presenting? Perhaps the visuals matter or, if we feel that we are included in the process? When do you feel you are the most attentive and receptive?

Engagement is a mix of components and paths, and regardless of whether it is in-person or an eLearning process, personality matters. This means the style of the trainer or training method must facilitate the development of trusted relationships. These relationships become information gateways through which information can be passed, evaluated, and used, to lead to improved outcomes.

This enables not only the engagement of attention during the training, but continued engagement after the event too, taking what is learned, combining it with practical experience and turning it into active skills that can be developed even further.

There are many ways to tweak engagement levels, such as the way we use our voice, the tasks we set or simply, a question we ask that focuses attention on the present moment to find an answer.

So, how was your coffee?

  • I believe engagement is need for a successful training event.  I use in person training (where I bring in laptops), lab time, questions, and other tools to engage the learner.

  • That is what education and the education process is - a process of engagement and information flow. In my dealing with delegates at a training event I find that the best knowledge transfer happens by growing the relationships between myself and the delegates and then also between the delegates themselves. (And obviously coffee plus biscuits helps too) I go through a process of revealing the content to them and getting them to self explore it. Oftentimes I learn as much from them as they do from me!