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Storming the Norms

People like their comfort zones. Our jobs as trainers are to lead change which by its very nature is to get people outside of their comfort zone. Many people walk into the training event – whether live or asynchronous– with their proverbial comfort blanket unwilling or not ready to hear what you have to say.

When Gagne, Briggs, and Wagner laid out their nine events of instruction they immediately tell us we need to gain our participant’s attention. As trainers, do we stop and ask ourselves why the people who wrote the book on instructional design say we must start by essentially jarring our participants in some way? I don’t know that all of us do. Instead, I think we are too quick to accept that some people don’t like icebreakers and allow them to apply some level of cognitive bias to the change we are trying to make while they pick apart something trivial to distract themselves. Why do they do this?

It Is Easier to Not Change

Think back to the last time you made a corrective change. For lack of a better analogy, I will use a golf swing. If you have ever changed your golf swing it feels absolutely horrible. At first, your game will get worse. Your peers are going to golf better than you while you adjust to your new swing, and your instinct will tell you to go back to your old swing. It will be easier not to change. However, if you stick with it and work to understand the fundamentals of the change. Give it the time it dissevers, your game will improve. Or, you can go back to your old swing and never improve.

Embracing Change

Is change scary? Sure. And not everyone is going to see your vision. A teammate this week expressed her anxiety about an upcoming change we are making by personifying our project and asking the question “Will he make any friends?” Even though I know this project will do great, I also know exactly where this fear comes from because she is a part of something new and the feedback people have may be scary. Strike that, it will be scary. It will also be great because change brings great things, you just have to remember why you are making that change. Even when some people want to hide in their comfort blankets. Change brings all kinds of anxieties and you and your participants have to make the crucial decision; embrace change or sit in that nice comfy blanket and be left behind

Over the next few weeks, you will be hearing about big changes coming from Endurance Learning. We hope you will embrace these changes the same way your participants embrace the changes you make in the classroom. Big things are coming. Are you ready?

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