Delivering the Goods

July 1999

Managing:Education

Delivering the Goods

Last month, we discussed how people learn in different ways. Now see how you can put this knowledge into action

BY DAVID PETERS
Jewelers of america

Stand-up training that incorporates strategies that appeal to every learning style is like a puzzle. It's made up of several pieces, and all the pieces must fit just the right way for the training to have maximum benefit.

The chart at right looks at a one-hour training module you might use at a store meeting. Each of its components plays a role in the module's overall training goals. The module we chose is part of a new training program from Jewelers of America called "Nothing To Hide: Communicating Gemstone Enhancement Information to Your Customer."

Nothing to Hide is designed for self-study or stand-up delivery and is broken into two one-hour modules. The program addresses the needs of different learning styles by using video and interactive learning strategies. By looking at how the training strategies and reasons behind them help accomplish the objectives of this particular program, you can draw parallels for all other training programs you lead.

The chart breaks down the second module of Nothing to Hide and provides a real-time outline of the module plus a description of specific training strategies.

It also illustrates how a good training program incorporates opportunities for concrete and abstract learning experiences. Such programs also keep a good balance between regimented sequential learning and activities that provide a chance for the participant to make random connections among multiple experiences. Finally, these programs allow opportunities for independent learning experiences and collaborative learning through discussions and interactions.

Education Goals
Your goal as an educator should be to ensure your associates travel the path along the low-to-high-knowledge continuum:

  • Knowing What. Facts, rules, procedures.
  • Knowing How. Understanding the problems in the context of their jobs.
  • Knowledge in Action. Formulating and executing new behaviors using newly acquired knowledge in real situations.

While it's your associates' ultimate responsibility to take advantage of learning situations, it is the myriad environments you create as a trainer that have tremendous impact on their personal success or failure. Make sure your materials match all the learning needs of your associates.

Learning is much like traveling. Even though we all may have the same destination, there are many, many wonderful and different roads that can lead us there!

David Peters is the manager of education development for Jewelers of America Inc., where he works on the design and delivery of education and educational services to members.


Nothing to Hide, Module 2

This six-part training outline includes commentary under each subheading showing how each activity incorporates various learning styles. Such an approach will help you effectively teach different kinds of learners

I. Introduction (5 minutes)
A. Review Module 1

A review helps focus attention back to the previous topic of study. Reviews are best conducted through questions and answers. They give participants time to clarify and solidify concepts learned earlier.

B. Questions and Discussion

To increase involvement and clarify concepts, encourage participants to ask questions. Associates want to feel they are part of the store's culture and contribute to its success.

C. Preview Module 2

Previewing upcoming material helps participants visualize the upcoming training experience and mentally prepare for its challenges.

II. Video (15 minutes)
A. Enhanced Gemstones Other than Ruby, Emerald, Sapphire

Video engages sight and hearing at the same time. Many people learn best when sight and sound are used together.

B. Weaving Enhancement Information into the Selling Process

Hearing information presented in the context of familiar selling situations helps sales associates understand how this training will improve their job performance. Your associates will begin to define their own learning needs and learning objectives through this process.

III. Specifics on Enhanced Gems Besides Ruby, Emerald, Sapphire (10 minutes)
A. Stability and Handling

Refer participants to additional booklets for visual and kinetic involvement. Don't allow the learning experience to become static for more than a few minutes. Keep interest high by changing activities, learning formats and resources.

B.Selling Strategies

  1. Incorporating Information in the Presentation
  2. Answering Direct Customer Questions

Describe possible scenarios and provide appropriate answers and solutions. Encourage associates to relate new information to job performance. This process of reflection is crucial to acquiring new information.

IV. Features & Benefits (10 minutes)
A. Creating a Benefit Statement from Features

This activity involves multiple levels of thought processes. Participants first must understand the material and then create accurate and useful statements in their own words. This direct application of new information forms a crucial link between "knowing" and "knowing how." Associates must practice this skill to gain the confidence and spontaneity required at the sales counter.

V. Role-Play Activities (15 minutes)
A. How Role-Play Works

Explaining the rules first helps all participants understand the process.

B. Three Scenarios

Scenarios must be as realistic as possible, allowing participants to relate directly to the situation. This is a classic example of learning by doing. The key to role-playing is the debriefing, an example of collaborative learning in which everyone discusses what they saw and heard. Also encourage participants to share real-life experiences similar to the scenario so they make random connections among their multiple experiences.

VI. Summary (5 minutes)
A. Enhancements Are a Good Thing

Encourage associates to share reasons why they think enhancements are good. Hearing the same information said by someone different helps reinforce its importance.

B. Disclosure Is the Key

Revisit any information you consider crucial ­ for example, reviewing the FTC Guides for the Jewelry Industry. Repeating information makes it more likely it will be retained.

C. Stay Informed

Encourage associates to take control of their own training by offering them educational materials such as books and magazines.



Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.


 

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