When I started as a training consultant, I was hesitant about working with non-educational organizations. I was worried that business minded clients would not take me seriously because my primary experience was in education. I quickly discover that my experience in the educational sector would not be the problem. The biggest obstacle I faced in corporate training was engaging learners in independent thinking and action.
For years, these professionals were expose to training consultants that spoon-fed them information. It was difficult for them to accept another training paradigm. Many of them felt that I was wasting their workday by asking them to think beyond task-level work. By holding on to a “sit back and wait” approach, these workers were obstructing opportunities for innovation and growth.
This particular organization wanted to change this way of thinking. This is why they hired me. The CEO and their board wanted their staff to be proactive by creating and design new solutions and opportunities to expand company’s reach, rather than being reactive and complacent to their work.
After six months of direct coaching support, only 45% of the staff modified their work habits. Unfortunately, the individuals that selected not to change were slowly replaced with new staff members, which would follow the new directive. It took the executive team and myself almost two years to stop the sit-back mindset in this organization.
Organizations that typically have this problem tend to micromanage their workers. Managers or executive officers do not fully trust their staff to take ownership of the company’s outputs. This of course creates a passive work environment and discourages staff members from engaging in any independent thinking or action. Once this type of culture is established it is difficult to change this behavior.
But, it can be done if your organizations makes it a priority.
- Reducing “Spoon-Feeding” to Promote Independent Thinking
- Image courtesy of Naypong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net