Tyler finally had a question. “So, have we been wasting out time training our people?”
“Training is not a waste of time, it is how you train that determines its effectiveness.” Tyler squirmed. His company spent thousands of dollars on management training the prior year.
“Tyler, let’s take a fun example. Ever play video games?” Tyler nodded and flashed a huge grin. “How did you learn to play that game? Did it come with an instruction manual? Did you go to the bookstore and buy the Insider’s Guide to the game?”
“No way, I just sat down and started playing it.”
“And what is your competence level?”
“Well, I am at a level 40, now, but over the weekend, I think I can get my character to level 50. That’s as high as I can go with the character in this clan.”
“So, you are telling me that you became an expert. Did you become an expert because their instruction manual was so well written? Did the quality of the Insider’s Guide (that you never bought at the bookstore) have a significant impact on your learning this new behavior?”
“No, I just played the game. My character got killed a few times, but I learned how to navigate around the danger zones. I learned how to engage other characters in battle. I learned out to accumulate powers. Every time I did something right, I got points. Every time I did something stupid, I lost points. My points accumulated, my character got stronger, I leveled up. All around the screen are status panels that give me constant real time feedback on where I am in the game and how I am doing.”
“And you did all this without reading the instructions or attending a training class?” I asked. Tyler nodded yes again. “Tyler, you learned to play the game at an expert level because the game was designed to positively reinforce desired behavior. This positive reinforcement was meticulous and frequent. There were established goals and measurement systems to track progress and status.
“Next week, we will get back together and talk more about training.”