Stephen Covey called one of the 7 effective action habits ‘Begin with the vision of the end’ meaning – define your goals before you start. An old Chinese proverb says, ’If you do not know where you are heading, it doesn’t matter which path you choose.’ Goals are a powerful development tool and a powerful driving force for people. It is worth to take advantage of this in trainings. I am personally convinced that defining the objectives is absolutely the most important element of any training. Reading of the various types of training objectives included in training promotional materials available on the Internet, I have the impression that in most cases, the coaches do not fully comprehend, what the purpose of formulating objectives is. Here are five reasons for formulating training objectives which in my opinion can be useful to any coach.
- Objectives are a promise that attracts the participants.
The objectives make a promise, they define who I am to be, what I will gain, how I am going to change, what I will be able to – they indicate the benefits. The objectives should build in a training participant the vision of themselves.
Therefore, the training objectives do not have to be the SMART type objectives. The DREAM level allows to outline more broadly the context and the area of training, and to build a vision. It also allows the participants to look at the training from their own perspectives and to answer the questions: What will I be able to do after the training? Who will I become? What will I achieve? What will I gain? It is the answers to these questions that are the main motivation for learning.
Look at the following example of the objectives formulated for the same example of a training in complaints handling:
After the training, you will be able to carry out the process of handling complaints in accordance with the applicable regulations.
Through the training you will reduce the number of incorrectly handled complaints and increase the number of satisfied customers.
Are they not more motivating than the following objective which appeared in one of the trainings found on the Internet:
The objective of the training is to familiarize the participants with the changes regarding the complaint claims.
I am trying to indicate no more than three objectives of a DREAM type per one training. Should there be more, the entire message begins to blur and its motivational strength decreases.
- Thanks to the objectives the training participants are free to evaluate on their own whether the promise has been fulfilled.
In order to increase the level of independence of the training participants it is good to give them a tool for self-assessment. It is worthwhile to formulate the objectives achieving of which is verifiable by each of the participants on their own even when still in the process. We are getting a little closer here to meeting the criteria for the objectives of the SMART type.
You will be able to name all stages of the complaints handling process.
You will know the rules of communication with the customer placing a complaint.
You will be able to name the most common mistakes made in conversations with customers reporting the complaints.
Achieving the objectives of the training formulated in such a way each participant is able to verify on their own.
It is important to clearly link the goals at this level with the objectives of the DREAM type so that the participants know that meeting the objectives at this level leads to achievement of the motivating DREAM objectives.
Our practice shows that there should be no more than three goals of the SMART type for each objective of the DREAM type.
- As a coach you know exactly how to structure a training program.
Take a look at the objectives set out in paragraph 2. It is clear that in the context of the training you will focus on the process of handling the complaints and probably describe each of the steps, and then name, list and introduce the rules of communication with the customer. At the end you will probably perform simulations of a conversation with a customer, with the task for the observers, which involves identifying the errors.
As you can see, the way of formulating the objectives determines not only the scope, but also the training and workshop techniques you use during the training.
- You can verify the effectiveness of the training.
If the goals are formulated correctly, you can easily verify whether they have been achieved. For example, if you plan a final test, there will probably be questions there regarding the stages of the complaints handling process, questions regarding the knowledge of the principles of communication with the client and of the types of the most common errors in conversations with customers.
- You increase the participants involvement and action.
By presenting the training objectives properly, you provide a framework for the training. As a result, the participants know the area in which they move around and are free to look for new solutions and ways of clash royale achieving goals on their own. They may contribute with other solutions, share their ideas and solutions, for example how to handle the complaint process even more effectively, how to raise customers’ satisfaction in this difficult situation, etc. Thanks to setting the objectives, you are creating a framework for creativity and independence of the participants. As a last resort, you could simply define the objectives of the training, and then allow participants to freely exchange their views only making sure that the discussions, ideas and concepts all lead to the achievement of the training objectives.
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How to use the DREAM type goals to build participants’ motivation