One of the most challenging parts of my job is training people on technology. I've found that most people have a comfort zone with the tools they use on a daily basis, and sometimes it's difficult to convince them to venture outside of that comfort zone. Whether it's Gmail, Facebook, VAN, or Salsa, most people know how to do what they need to do, and are happy with that.
Teaching organizers how to use tools can sometimes be a trying experience that causes anxiety and frustration on both sides. Fortunately, I've had success using a teaching concept that I learned when I taught Information Systems to college students - it helps alleviate stress and primes the audiences for learning. I like to call it the "Jedi mind trick"! Check it out:
- Bring up a challenge that some people in the audience may have experienced, and that can be solved using the tool you're there to teach (but don't mention the tool yet).
- Ask for examples of challenges with this particular issue and allow for people to vent their frustrations.
- Moderate the discussion so the attitude in the room doesn't get negative, which would be detrimental to the learning process.
- Once you've got buy-in, pivot to how what you will teach them will help them address that challenge.
Congrats! You've primed your audience and they are now ready to hear about how the technology and tools you're training on are going to make their lives easier. Jedi mind trick, complete.
Do you have techniques or tricks that you use when training on technology and tools? Share with us in the comments on our blog.
Mo Maraqa is Data Integration Manager at NOI.