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
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
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,
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
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
- Incorporating Information in the Presentation
- 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
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.