The One Thing Wrong With Your Training That No One Will Tell You!


No one really wants to listen to you!

That’s the rub….  When people arrive at professional development trainings, they dread the talking head.

Now, I don’t mean they didn’t come to hear what you have to say.

They just don’t want to spend their time listening to you talk about it.

They actually want to learn it.

That means you have to deliver it without talking about it.

Okay, so there are always a few things that you have to talk about; where are the bathrooms, when are the breaks, and recognizing the important people in the room.

Then….  Lay the foundations and GET LEARNING!

If it is one thing that brain research is really clear about – learning is an active process.

Sit n git is out.

Discovery, dialogue, deep dive, and digest are in.

I get it!

Allowing participants to discover the learning on their own in a time sensitive environment is challenging!

But it really is the best way.

When we discover new things on our own, the information is easily integrated into what we already know and how we organize, file, and retrieve it.

That means the new learning is accessible and applicable after the learning experience is over.

Without discovery, getting new concepts and tools to the point of integration (which is what it takes to own the material enough to be able to actually use it later) is really tough.

Yeah, discovery learning is challenging – but NOT impossible.

It requires us to be expert architects of the learning experience. Once we begin to unravel some of the realities of discovery learning, it becomes easier.

Let me show you.

I wanted participants to understand the best way to intervene in any situation was really to prevent.

Each small group of participants got some “track” (made from toilet paper rolls cut in half and taped together) and a marble. They were told to create a run for their marble with the track and duct tape that would move the marble from a point about 2 – 3 feet off the floor to the ground. They were given about 10 minutes and then they tested it.

Next, they were asked to figure out the best way to not allow the marble to finish the run. They were given another 10 minutes to adjust their track and trial their answers.

When we moved to dialogue, each group demonstrated what they discovered. Some tried cutting parts out of the track (but their marble ultimately got to the ground). Others sent the marble flying through the air in looping launches (with it still ending up on the ground). Not all of them came up with the answer of not putting the marble in motion at all but, every time I’ve done this, at least one group does.

In the dialogue, the answer of preventing the marble from every starting the run always comes out. At that point, everybody gets it. It’s obvious and literal. They’ve experienced it and discovered it for themselves. It is not easily forgotten. In fact, I have people tell me all the time how they still remember the experience, years later.

This discovery learning adventure allows the conversation of how important prevention really is to begin.

And it only took about 25-30 minutes.

This is an example of one of the first and most important components of Mindset Scaffolding: The Art of Changing Their Mind, a common learning experience with common language.

It is through this simple discovery learning opportunity that we give people what they came for: learning adventure.

They discover the idea themselves, building on the concepts with more opportunities to discover, dialogue, and deep dive. This naturally transitions to digestion. That’s the entire learning process!

THIS is what people come to the table for – actual learning. They don’t come to listen to you talk. But no one ever says it.

Think about your own experience. You can’t tell me you don’t dread the talking head. Or death by PowerPoint! I know I need entertainment or active learning.

AND. It’s only through active learning that anything really sticks. Entertainment is great in the moment. Stick is what we’re looking for.

“Stick” is the return on investment – walking away with content that I own and can apply to my life, my job, and my learning inventory.

What are you doing to support and encourage discovery learning?

I’d love to hear! Oh, and don’t forget to sign up for the blog (to the right is the sign up!)

Until next time,

Be Extraordinary!


Hey! We’re rolling out The Big Fix this week – a 2-day event where we discover, dialogue, deep dive, and digest all about why training doesn’t work, how to fix it, and how to know we fixed it.

You won’t want to miss it! Learn more here.