“Leadership should be born out of understanding the needs of those who would be affected by it.”
– Marian Anderson
In my roles as senior project manager, change consultant, marketing leader, coach and mentor, I use something called andragogy (adult learning theory) to manage and lead because I have seen its effectiveness. I thought it would be a great blog topic, so please, read on!
Throughout my professional life, I spent time designing various formats of training about topics that included marketing, identifying and adapting to social styles, emotional intelligence, repackaging a new improved client service model, how to ask for referrals, business and marketing planning, new customer acquisition, retention, social media and more.
The process of designing training modules is about working to ensure the content is engaging and adding value for the intended audience and providing them with what they need so they will adopt the new change program. When classes are written and created, the blended approaches are different for each medium. For example, content will be written differently for an e-learning self-study, vs. classroom or live web-ex conferencing.
The andragogy method leverages problem solving and collaboration and levels the playing field between learners and trainers. The six principles of adult learning theory asserts that adults are:
- Internally motivated and self-directed
- Experienced and bring our knowledge to the learning platform
- Engaged when the information is relevant to our background
- Goal oriented – motivated by intrinsic and extrinsic factors
- Practical and need to know why they are learning the content
- Learners who place value on being respected
For years I consulted and coached franchised business owners to help them adopt new behaviors into their practices. We did this using a structured yet flexible approach by installing repeatable and predictable processes into their businesses. Through coaching and the leadership development process, my clients learned about knowledge transfer through applying a process that looked something like this: Learn, unlearn, rethink, relearn, innovate and survive. I challenged them to step outside of old ways of thinking and to embrace unfamiliar territory. Success means we practice new behaviors until they feel normal and when we began working together, we would contract for what the behavior outcomes would look like.
While it sounds simple, it is a frightening concept because it is natural for people to resist change. It takes courage to embrace uncertainty by looking fear in the eye and pushing forward. Coaching people through resistance management plans, I can say the greatest victories I have seen came when people chose to take a little risk that led to success and when that happened, we celebrated.
There is diversity in learning, we all discover and grab onto ideas and concepts differently. People absorb data in their own way, and when we take that diversity into account coupled with andragogy (adult learning theory), the results will lead to increased end-user adoption and better organizational change readiness, rewarding components for learners, trainers and leaders.
Thank you for visiting my blog. Please share what you think about using and applying this process into your leadership style?
This infographic was created by Nicole Legault, who has a blog called “Flirting with e-learning.“
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