When conducting training, most of us ask our audiences to brainstorm and provide information on what they already know about the topic we’re teaching. This sharing process allows participants to educate one another while creating an open environment where people are enthusiastic about expanding their current skill level.
During this process, participants sometimes reveal that they already KNOW how to do much of what we’re there to teach. But if that’s the case, why doesn’t the organization see them applying that knowledge?
Consider this example: Some managers and service providers seem to be able to provide good leadership and/or service when they are being observed by an executive who can affect their continued employment or advancement. Yet, that manager or service provider fails to give the same level of care and consideration on a consistent basis.
That’s when the role of a trainer is to come up with ways to remind or inspire people to use the knowledge they already have. I call this having a “know focus.” It requires innovative techniques, not just new information, to improve the long-term effectiveness of an organization’s leadership and staff development.
As you may have guessed from this article’s title, I believe music is one of those innovative techniques. Research done by a number of organizations, including the American Medical Association and Harvard University, shows that music can provide both an anchor and an emotional connection to improve the retention of information.
Instead of relying solely on traditional methods of closing the gap between what participants learn and what they actually use (such as setting a goal that people look at every morning)…try using music as a fun and inspirational reminder of the things you want participants to improve upon.
Here are a few examples of how you can build a training message around a familiar song!
Good Vibrations from The Beach Boys can be used to remind service providers that their jobs are all about sending “good vibes” to customers.
Put a Little Love in Your Heart by Jackie DeShannon can be used to reinforce a lesson about servant leadership.
Little Bit O’ Soul by The Music Explosion can be used to inspire people to keep a positive attitude.
So go ahead. Listen to your IPod for a few hours and see what useful, inspirational messages you might stumble upon. Or, make the selection of a “memory anchor” song an assignment for participants—allowing them to think of a song that will always remind them of the day’s lesson. You’ll be amazed at what a great retention device this is because your participants will remember your messages “Eight Days a Week!”
Over the past 20 years, Donna Long has helped hundreds of organizations improve their leadership, communication and customer service effectiveness. Visit www.LearningJourneyInc.com to learn more.
Need help in this area? CRM Learning’s Jukebox Journey Meeting Opener Series contains three short animated videos that feature the songs and messages described in the above article. These videos can help you teach unforgettable lessons in leadership, customer service and a positive workplace.