Training is All About Action

I recently spoke at a sales conference for medical devices on the topic of how training is changing, and I made the case that it’s likely for the better. A lot of great training exists out there, and while there’s a lot to go around, making that training stick is quite another matter.

Over 150 years ago, Hermann Ebbinghaus discovered that we forget most of what we learn. In fact, we forget 79% of everything we learn in 30 days. Heck, we forget almost 50% of it in just 48 hours. This is one reason training doesn’t have the impact that organizations wished it would. Keep in mind that there are billions of dollars spent each year on training.

Someone told me 25 years ago that the goal of training is action. It’s meant to present new information and reinforce old information all with the goal that the trainee gets new ideas and learns how to put those to work. I believe this with all my heart and soul. We should use training as a place to get new ideas that will help us be competitive, stay competitive, and ultimately, win.

Words of Wisdom on Training

These phrases have better helped me understand what training is all about:

  1. “A man is only as good as his word.” My grandfather Jude Baesman said this to me. He was my idol and hero. To me, this means that you have to be a person of your word and what you are promising to deliver, you must. You should always give your client a training session that actually does engender change–and isn’t boring.
  2. “When you’re green you are growing; when you are ripe you are rotting.” This was spoken by Don Cutcliff, one of the greatest sales leaders and mentors ever. Change and taking risks are crucial to growth and improvement.
  3. “You must manage the coincidences in your life. And there are none.”  Wayne Dyer–the great 21st century philosopher–said those words. When you’re in training, you are there for a reason, as is everyone else. It’s no coincidence; it’s a choice. When you’re there, think about who you could meet and learn from.

Here’s a big idea. Start a relationship with the person conducting the training if he/she is in fact good at what they’re doing. I have done this many times, each time coming out having developed a valuable business relationship with someone I could learn from–a friend who would offer their knowledge if ever I had a question.

I was just a rep, or a first-line manager, and because I asked them if I could stay in touch and pick their brain, they were happy to do so. In fact, one of them was in the Speakers Hall of Fame and he endorsed my first book because I had intentionally built a relationship with him. There were 139 other people in that same room just like me, and I was the only one who sought and got a relationship that has helped me for 30 years.

Take Advantage of Training

Training is a gigantic opportunity to build your network. Don’t let that chance go to waste. It’s not a coincidence; it’s an open door that you must go through if you’re driven enough! If you’d like to learn how to take those steps in building relationships in situations such as training, visit my virtual training called Jerry Acuff VT.