Traditional staff training sessions expect people to learn by listening to someone talk. These have been shown to have woeful transfer rates. Cognitive psychology research shows that learning is most effective when it is built on what people already know. We recognise what our participants bring with them; respecting and utilising their diverse experiences.

Our approach to learning can be summed up in three words: Engage. Participate. Activate.

Engage people in the learnings, let them participate in activities to practise new skills and behaviours, and support activation of these tools in the workplace.

We can’t claim that our approach is entirely new – it can actually be found in the ancient Chinese proverb: See and forget, hear and remember, do and understand.

We begin by showing people that the training we are offering them is relevant to their daily lives. That it will benefit them as both personal development as well as professional development. It’s a big ask to step away from your regular roles and invest time and energy into training. People need to feel that spending their time with us is worthwhile. They are inevitably asking, “What’s in it for me?”

The next phase of learning is the participation stage. Our employee development programmes show people alternative ways of thinking and new ways of doing. We give them an opportunity to practise these new behaviours within a structured environment, which increases the likelihood of applying these learnings in the workplace. All activities are based on actual work scenarios, and participants are often solving work-related problems while they are learning.

Activation is the most crucial stage of any new learning, and often where traditional methods have fallen short. What is the point in sending someone on an employee development course if they forget what they’ve learned the day they return? Activation begins during the training sessions by giving people opportunities to experience success with their new skill or behaviour before they return to the busyness of the workplace.

We use a variety of tools including Myers Briggs and EQi as tools to inform our staff coaching and training work. Find out more about these tools here: