Rules for Success Training Meetings
One of the topics I'm consistently asked about revolves around all of the challenges when it comes to creating effective training meetings inside the walls of a service and replacement company. Since I'm already engulfed in training many of your technicians at my Service Sales Success School this week in Baltimore, I wanted to share a couple thoughts regarding rules of successful training meetings.
1. Have an agenda and plan
Your team's time is valuable. Don't waste it. Labor adds up too quickly to embrace less than effective meetings in your company. Have a goal with the meeting and a plan of how you'll arrive there. Resist the temptation to just show up with a box of donuts thirty seconds before the meeting starts and hope to make a positive impact regarding results. Be prepared!
2. Keep it concise and simple
A very common roadblock I witness regarding effective training is that way too much content is attempted to be covered. As a training professional, I can still completely empathize with this challenge because we never want to run out of content. However, the issue is very rarely "not enough content" and all too often "too much content" that doesn't get trained effectively, practiced, or reinforced with any ounce of behavior changing strategies. I believe in only ONE major topic for a takeaway for the techs each meeting. This is based on meetings lasting one hour or less. Keep it short, keep it simple, keep it focused on one thing.
3. Remove your ego
Check your ego at the door. One of the main reasons more managers don't perform ride-alongs with their team is ego based fear! We're afraid that if something goes wrong we might not have an answer. We fear losing credibility with our team (by not knowing an answer or being perfect at delivery of a process) therefore we don't participate side by side with them. I ride with technicians all over the world and one area I get instant credibility is by being side by side with them if that call or customer chooses to go south. Allowing fear to stop you from playing along with them side by side, whether in a training meeting or in the service truck, you are minimizing your own valuable impact.
4. Start and end on time
This is a sticking point for me. Perhaps from my military days, or perhaps from some early mentors I had, but I do NOT like being late, starting late, or running late when it comes to training (or anything for that matter). We already agreed that time is a valuable (and sometimes costly) resource. When we don't start on time, we're sending a clear message that something else is more important than the training meeting we have scheduled. The same is true when we don't end on time. You cannot argue this fact because when we're not on time for anything, we're simply placing a higher importance on the other task that made us late.
I could go on for days with this topic, but for now I encourage you to focus on these four rules regarding effective training. Let us know if you have any specific questions and/or if you'd like us to do one of our monthly training calls on this topic.
Many companies have weekly meetings, but very few have results impacting, behavior changing meetings more than a handful of times a year. You’re investing in your own time, your team's time (and labor), as well as a host of other company resources to make meetings happen. With this investment being a reality, let's get our meetings producing better results more frequently!