There are only three things you can teach people

As a manager you will very likely have to play the role of coach often. Other times you will at least have to provide your input into training. It seems at first glance that there are a million things to teach. Let’s have an abstraction of what can be taught. You will see there are really only three things you can teach.

Training people to run and operate your business is an ongoing activity that is crucial to its success.  The three things I am talking about that you can teach people are to:

  1. Remember. In this category you are focusing on facts. These are things that don’t require understanding. They just need to be memorized. What is the capital of England? What does GDP mean? Who is the president of the United States? Is the red electric wire live or is it the green one? This is knowledge that can only be memorized. Teaching people to remember facts can be done by using mnemonics or through lots of repetition. It can also be supported by providing reference materials dictionaries, glossaries, fact books, almanacs. Overall the “remember” category of learning covers the what, where, who and when of things.


  1. Understand. In this category you are focusing on” why” things are the way they are. People need to understand why a business process was designed the way it was. For example, why are there all those steps in prospecting, presentation, follow up, qualification and closing that is defined in the sales manual? When people have a better understanding of a process, they commit it more easily to memory and can work and adhere to it more strictly and efficiently.


  1. Do. This is the third category. The best way to teach someone to do anything is by presenting examples that increase in complexity and then training them to do the same over and over. To teach someone to drive a car or work a piece of machinery, you need to demonstrate how it’s done and then slowly train them to make the steps one at a time to learn how to do it themselves. Training is further enhanced with plenty of practice. This is the “how” piece of training.

Happy coaching.  Hope you found this useful. Let me know what you think. Send me a note.


Thanks for reading

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s