Jim’s Journal: Do You Really Know What’s In It For Them?

December 9, 2013 in Jim's Journal

When I first started training, back in the 80’s, I was quickly taught that a successful trainer is the trainer who uncovers what’s important to each learner.  I was consistently reminded to bring value AND to find out what each person wanted to walk away with (even when they don’t readily share that information).  I don’t think we, as trainers, facilitators and educators, apply this approach as often as we should.  We believe that we have awesome content and we want our learners to think that it’s awesome too.  In all likelihood they will, but we have to serve it up in a fashion where they think we truly understand what’s in it for them (and that we care about their success).  To do this we have to get to know our learners.  We have to find out what’s in their heads and what’s in their hearts.  We have to cut through their excuses and know when and how to push and when and how to pull.  We have to develop myriad methods to present and make our case and develop myriad methods to get them to open up and be vulnerable.  They’re not going to buy it just because we say it’s good for them (this applies to life too).  To move your audience, to stretch your audience, and to create breakthroughs with your audience means you have to know your audience – to know what’s in it for them beyond the obvious (i.e., it will help them do their jobs better).  Going forward, wear your “discovery” hat in addition to your “teacher” hat.  Much to our dismay, we have to realize that it’s not all about us.  They are the most important people in the room!

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