I have shared my experience in the earlier posts about the “Monday Syndrome”, especially for Behavioural Training Programs. The syndrome refers to the limited impact that these programs have on the participants. However, behavioural programs are critical for organisations and especially for ones that are going through change. So, let us now look at what is missing in these programs that limits the impact.
Let us begin by looking at the process of training design and development. Training was originally used to teach new skills – starting with rearing cattle and cultivating land, graduating to using machines since the industrial revolutions, and finally to mastering the digital world, amongst numerous other areas. The approach is similar – observe or research how to be effective at doing a particular job (create knowledge), create a mechanism to transfer this knowledge to another individual (develop technique), and finally train the concerned people (training).
There is an assumption in this approach – every individual will be able to develop the desired skills by following the techniques. It is also very logical. If I exactly tell someone how to drive a nail in the wall using a hammer, there is no way someone will not learn it. The only variable can be the time it takes one to master the skill. This works perfectly for the skill development programs.
This approach is extended and applied to behavioural training. However, there is a not so obvious omission. When it comes to skills, people are at different levels of the skill and hence take different time to reach the same level of mastery. When it comes to behaviours, people are in different “worlds”. Haven’t you experienced someone dealing with an interpersonal issue at work with an ease that totally stumped you? You had never even imagined the perspective demonstrated by the other person. You were operating from another world altogether.
What’s missing in my opinion is a learning approach which is tailored to altering behaviours. An approach which naturally alters the behaviour of people without assessing their current state or training them about something. An approach by which the behaviour alters without the knowledge of the person.
We will explore such an approach tomorrow.