Adults learners go through 3 stages of concerns over their training:
- Personal: They want to know “’what’s in it for me?’
- Management: How do I make this work; how do I implement it?
- Impact: How will learning this impact me, my company?
Adult learners need:
- To feel safe; physically and emotionally
- Be autonomous; adults like to be independent – allow them to work alone, in pairs, in teams, in groups
- To enjoy success; periodic moments of success to improve newly-learned skills and to know that they are becoming more knowledgeable
- Feel valued and cared for through team building, class building, etc.
- Enjoy themselves through humor, stories, energizers, etc.
Three types of adults learners include:
- Explorers love being in the training and want to learn as much as they can from the training
- Vacationers want to have as much fun and free time as possible
- Prisoners resent being in the training and imagine themselves breaking free
Difficult learners include
- Latecomers – put exit and entrance in the back; start on time; give prizes and praise to on-timers; set ground rules; start hot topics after breaks
- Preoccupied – clear table of all personal belongings; make a to do list and set it aside for later; use proximity to encourage eye contact and engagement; have a private discussion with the participant
- Introverts – use class building, team building; assign jobs and tasks
- Domineering – write questions on think pads; use a delay board; select who starts; set ground rules; select teams; use proximity, talking sticks, timed turns; have a private discussion, when they pause, praise them and ask for another opinion
- Prisoner – list reasons they shouldn’t be there; list the benefits of WIIFM; allow them to leave, use negative examples about yourself to illuminate their behavior; empathize and move on
- Prove it – assign them to do the research; read articles, tell analogies, give references, state facts, show figures, ask the class ‘what are 5 reasons why’; project quotes
- Know it all – conduct a pre-test; acknowledge expertise; ask them to share successes; share their ideas; use timed turns instead of team discussion; stick to your experience and evidence
- Can’t afford (to spend time in training) – explain how lucky they are; tell why training is required and critical; use parking lot so trainer can answer questions at break
- Yes but – give examples from their job or in their content; use concrete examples, give testimonials, show data, tell your successes; ask why? why not?
CITE: Kagan, L. (2007). Dynamic Trainer! San Clemente. CA. Kagan Publishing Company