Why Your Training Sessions Didn’t Work – Part 3

Quick Series Recap: 90% of the time one day learning workshops are a waste of time and money. There’s three common culprits behind their ineffectiveness:
  1. The ‘why are we here?’ factor
  2. The ‘cool idea, but it’ll never work here’ factor, and
  3. The ‘I know enough to be dangerous’ factor.

This week we’re unpacking and solving number 3.

The ‘I know enough to be dangerous’ Factor

There’s two types of people that fall prey to the ‘I know enough to be dangerous’ factor.

The first is the ‘Big Hat 🤠, No Cattle’ type, who talks a big game and seems to have a answer for everything. – – They, of course, don’t think they NEED training, because they’re already an expert right?

The second is the earnest novice. The person who’s been thrown into the deep end and is swimming the best they can but is missing the years of gradual, layered development and growth. They are thirsty for knowledge, but given the factors we described in previous weeks – a deep-dive training session may just end up causing more harm than good as they latch onto an advanced technique at the expense of core foundational theory.

So how do we counter both of these?

The Counter Strategy: i + 1 Learning

The concept of i+1 learning comes from the linguist Stephen Krashen.

The idea is rather simple: First you master a basic concept (let’s call it “i”). Then only after you’ve done that, you focus on one additional small thing (let’s call it “+1”).

Think of almost it as the ‘agile’ of learning. Small, shippable learnings, mastered one at a time.

It’s about layering your learning, so that you don’t end up trying to perform a J-turn before you know how to brake.

Building on simple micro-concepts can help you and your teams avoid both overwhelm and false conclusions.

After all, how do you eat an elephant? – One bite at a time.

But this isn’t just theory, I’m currently helping a client design a 6 month accreditation program for one of their specialist roles using a variation of this approach. The i+1 method helped create sanity in what would otherwise be madness.

So the next time you’re faced with teaching someone something, consider i+1. Spread the learning out. Provide time for mastery and practice. And help them embed it into their day to day.