Here is the million-dollar question that every consultant wants to know the answer to: “How can I get my participants to take action on the things I’m teaching them?”
In answering this for ourselves, it’s important to remember that you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.
Similarly, you can present a participant in a leadership training with great content, but you can’t force action – action has to come from the participant getting it, caring, and wanting to make a change.
We’ve just described one of the fundamental challenges involved in the technology-littered space that exists around learning sustainment.
There’s a belief in our industry that if we just give participants the right gamified, micro-learning bite, they will take action on what we’ve taught them.
The truth is that it really doesn’t matter how great our content is, or how good our follow-up systems are if the participants in the room haven’t taken ownership for putting ideas into practice.
We’ve created a quick checklist you can use to ensure you’re maximizing post-session engagement. Download it and view my discussion with one of our Actionable Consulting Partners, Joel Bennett, who has become an expert on audience ownership HERE.
Participants need to have a reason to take the insights that they’ve gained and actually turn them into lasting behavior change.
If they don’t, nothing’s going to happen, and there won’t be any impact in the session.
We always expose our participants to great content, and they will usually understand the content at a cerebral level.
If we’re good facilitators, they may even “get it.” What great facilitators, do, on the other hand, is help participants move from “I get it,” to “I care about it.”
How can we do this? We can start by shifting our focus from content to context.
In other words, instead of focusing on the information we’re presenting, let’s focus on the relevance of the information: the “so what” involved.
This information matters, but how does it matter, for example, to a participant who’s working in accounting on a Tuesday morning in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
How can our insights reverberate there?
Consider whether your participants are being given the space and the tools to find the “so what” in our messages.
Are they able to connect with insights on an emotional level? Are you guiding them toward a place of intent, where they genuinely want to put these ideas into practice?
If you are, your participants are probably leaving your leadership program saying, “that was awesome.”
Remember that all of your participants are already committed to being a better leader.
The problem, though, is that they don’t necessarily leave the room and suddenly start being a better leader.
Being a better leader is the outcome of committing to certain behaviors, practicing them over time, developing, honing, and refining them.
Our goal as consultants is to help individuals take ownership over these small, incremental behavior changes, and leave our sessions with not just a cerebral understanding of what must be done, but an emotional investment and an intention to bring about change.
Want a free copy of the Audience Ownership Checklist you can apply in your own sessions? Access it HERE.
This is how our programs translate to meaningful impact: we deliver tools to participants that impart a sense of autonomy and personal control over how, when, and where participants will put insights into practice.
These are the keys to driving audience ownership: moving beyond content, into relevance, and landing at a place of intent.
Focus on delivering tools to translate intention into small behavior changes and incremental improvements over time.
You can even deliver tools for participants to log their progress and feel a sense of personal mastery as they continue to improve.
Great facilitators equip participants with tools to put ideas into practice, take ownership of the changes they’ll make, and create a lasting impact.
Actionable is on a mission to help boutique consultancies scale their business by giving them the tools to measure and amplify the impact they spark. We’d love to show you how we can help.
We can’t wait to meet you.