A manufacturing manager who follows my Leadership Tip recently asked me this:
How do I accelerate the training of three newly promoted supervisors without breaking the bank?
Providing a detailed response required responses to questions like these: What do they need training on? What skills do they need to develop? What don’t they know that you want them to know?
After we discussed his situation in detail, this manager came away with a number of strategies to pursue. My favorite strategy among them is practicing various situations—more commonly called “situational learning.”
Learning can be highly effective through a group discussion of how to handle a situation. Some solutions will be right; some wrong. But this process allows the facilitator/trainer/coach to draw out key learning points that will resonate with the trainees.
Situational learning often includes role playing, but instead of labeling the activity “role playing,” a term people don’t like, I call it professional skills development practice. Whatever the name, we regularly use this strategy in my online and in-person training and get fantastic results.
Accelerate your team’s development by creating relevant situations to practice and/or discuss.
Here is a realistic example of a situation I gave the manufacturing manager:
You are a supervisor who is delivering a safety talk and notice that two crew members at the back of the room are not paying attention. They are having a whispering conversation about a recent hunting trip. What are a few techniques you might use to address the situation?
An inexperienced supervisor could cause irreparable credibility damage and negatively affect the organization’s safety culture with the wrong approach. What might this manager do? I suggest you download some of the techniques we discussed about this situation here.
This is only one example of a relevant situation you might face, and there are countless more. As a leader, your job is to help your team develop in the best way possible for your organization. Consider learning more about this “situational learning” practice as an effective development strategy.