Getting 300% more training impact
08/11/08 07:02 Filed in: Coaching culture
Dr. Keith E. Webb
Let's be honest, most training is full of knowledge, ideas, and "good stuff" but not much practice.
Paul wrote, "Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me - put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you" Philippians 4:9.
Too often, my problem is not a lack of knowledge; it is too little living out of that knowledge. Chinese philosopher Han Fei Tzu said it well: “It is not difficult to know a thing; what is difficult is to know how to use what you know.”
This is where Follow-Up Coaching comes in.
Follow-Up coaching comes at the end of content-based training. Coaches use a series of (usually prepared) questions to move the client forward in implementing the training content over the weeks or months following the event.
For example, Focusing Leaders is a process designed by Terry Walling to help mid-career leaders to understand their calling and giftedness. There are group meetings every month with coaching appointments between the meetings. During the coaching appointment the coach will ask a series of set questions in line with the previous group meeting's subject. In this way, the group meeting content gets coached into the lives of the participants.
It's a powerful combination.
In fact, one organization studied the impact of only training vs. training with follow-up coaching. Training produced 23% better performance, but training with follow-up coaching produced 88% better performance. That's a significant difference!
Getting Follow-Up Coaching Going
One feature of organizations that are characterized as having a "coaching culture" is that all their training is followed by coaching. Doing this is actually easier than it may sound.
- List up the application points of your training. How do you want participants to behave and think differently? Focusing on behavior makes things easier.
- Take a look at the content of your training and edit it to focus on the behaviors you want to participants to adopt. Cut the extra "good" things, and focus.
- Create time during the training so participants can plan their implementation. Have participants share that with somebody else.
- Write up a set coaching questions to be asked to participants during the next couple of weeks or months. With these questions in hand, just about anybody can do the follow-up coaching.
- Provide follow-up coaching at least 4 times over the next 3 months, beginning a week after the training. Coaches can meet with 1, 2, or 3 participants at a time. (More than that doesn't work as well.) We've also formed participants into groups of 3 and given them the follow-up coaching questions and allowed them to "peer coach" each other. Obviously, the more skilled your coaches are the better the outcome, but half the power is in the questions and the fact that the topic is brought up again 4 more times following the training.
Copyright © 2008 Keith E. Webb & CRM
Dr. Keith E. Webb is a trainer and experienced cross-cultural leadership coach helping non-profit organizations, teams, and individuals multiply their cross-cultural impact. Find free articles at http://www.CreativeResultsManagement.com