How do you make sure your participants are applying what they learned in a repeatable, reliable, way?  

Ask them why.

At the end of your session you’re likely already asking participants what their biggest takeaway is, what one change they want to put into practice, who is going to hold them accountable for making that change, and when they’re going to start the change.

One of the questions I see missed – often enough that I felt it warranted to write about – is this: 

Why does it matter to you? 

What’s the benefit to you if you were to realize that change?

What impact will it have on others?

Any one of these questions will do, but ultimately, asking the participant “why”, matters greatly because they are going to face adversity. 

They are going to face setbacks and challenges. 

It won’t go perfectly every single time, every single day. 

Particularly in the early days, people need a deeper why in order to follow through on a commitment. This is Simon Sinek 101; WHY matters more than WHAT, when it comes to emotional buy-in. And emotional buy-in (aka “intrinsic motivation”) makes change happen. 

When they have a deeper why behind doing the work required to create a lasting change they have a much greater likelihood of overcoming adversity. Inertia. Ingrained habits and cultural norms. The deeper why will fuel them to find a way to achieve their desired outcome. 

The next time you are having the conversation with your participants around the change they want to make, I urge you to ask them why it matters to them. Give them time to really think about it. 

The more “what’s in it for me” and the more emotional their response – the stronger the anchor and their reason to persevere when things get tough. 

If you’re focused on impact this is worth a conversation in the room. Help your participants identify not only what they are committing to and what they are going to apply from the session, who is going to help them do so but most importantly, help them identify why it matters to them. This will help carry them through. 

Actionable is on a mission to help boutique consultancies scale their business by giving them the tools to prove and amplify their impact.

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