I just went camping with a group of friends for the weekend in the Unita National Forest, which is a beautiful mountain range east of Salt Lake City.
On Saturday a few of us went on a hike to Heart Lake. This hike started on the top of a ridge and went down a steep hill and circled back using the road that wrapped back up on the west side of the valley. My friend Noah enjoys camping, but is not as much of a fan of hiking as the rest of us. And he was definitely not at all thrilled about the steepness of the decent.
Instead of switch backing down the precipitous hill, he chose to go pretty much straight down. The rest of the group had to go speedily down, instead of a leisurely hike, just to keep up so we could stay together in the thick trees.
After a nice lunch on the shore of the lake and taking in the energy of that peaceful place, we started our ascent up the road. By this time, it was in the warm afternoon sun and Noah was as good as done. However, instead of complaining and dragging his feet, he charged forward – again way ahead of the group. He just wanted to get it over with quickly as possible (or get back at camp for a cold wet drink). Nevertheless, he was so over the hike.
A lot of times we drag out a training course because we want to make sure we can show every trainee everything we believe they need to know. We design a list of points, details of each point, role play each point, reuse each point, etc. I was online recently and found a training on upselling the customer. There were 28 points. 28 points! The closing take aways were enough and the training could have been done in half the time.
Getting straight to the point and then being done with it is not a bad thing. The people like Noah will get it and then move on. Did Noah enjoy the hike? Yes, he did. If he took the shorter course on upsells, would he perform the upsells? Absolutely. Was the hiking experience any different for Noah than it was for me? Of course. All learners have a difference experience. One is not any more important than the other. We as learning professionals have to recognize and be flexible to adjust to the learner. After all, when the Noahs leave the room, there may be whiners left in the room that need one-on-one time. Spend the freed up time with them, assuring they can do it; practice, coach, assist, and motivate. They will soon be performing just like the others.