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How Paying Attention Creates Great Learning

By Sally Eames

As an Instructional Designer, I think a lot about the training our clients ask us to create for them. I also spend a lot of time paying attention to what clients “tell” me, whether or not they say it out loud. Everything clients bring to a meeting provides information I can use to make the learning stronger and more effective.

Does this sound strange? Unnecessary? Not at all; I’m just practicing great customer service.

I’m paying attention to client brand guidelines to make sure any training we create matches other assets their employees, clients, partners, and customers may see.

I’m noticing the specificity of their ideas related to the training. Do they provide general goals relating to the content and expect me to identify the themes and objectives? Or do they give me incredibly specific content including recommended wording? I want to make sure I know how much creative freedom I have in the design and where the edges are located.

I’m identifying the needs clients don’t tell me about, like the importance of employee buy-in on a new process. That comes from listening carefully to how they talk about it. If employees don’t see the point of a change, the training I design will include content that underscores the need for this new way of doing things.

I’m listening for the language they use. Is it more formal or more relaxed? If clients provide examples from earlier trainings or marketing materials, what is the tone of those items? I want to make sure the training we deliver matches their organization’s communication style.

I’m also storing it all away for future reference, so the next time I design training for the same client, I’m able to meet their organization’s needs even more effectively than I did the last time.

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Topics : Articles, Judge Learning Solutions, Learning, Training

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