“I Don’t Trust Learners. They Don’t Know What They Don’t Know.”

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Oftentimes, I hear leaders and trainers moan, “learners can not be trusted, and they needed to be taught what to learn.” This is a frequent response when I tell leaders and trainers to allow learners to discover the learning points rather than a trainer directing or instructing the learner.

What is the difference between these two approaches?

Trainer to learner: “What do you think you should do to be effective on the job?”

Trainer to learner: “If you follow these topics, you will succeed in your job.”

The first approach assumes the learner knows something. The second assumes the learner has zero knowledge of the subject.

Ask yourself-is it true that new learners don’t really know anything and can not be trusted? Most people doing a particular task have some level of experience or knowledge of the job. Trust that they know something. Don’t tell them, ask them.

Ray Jimenez, PhD www.vignettestraining.com

“Helping Learners Learn Their Way”

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