Making Training Stick with a Growth Mindset

Sticky Note

October 18, 2018

Mindsets can have a significant impact on learning transfer and application.  Some thought leaders have even termed “Mindset” as the new psychology of success.  A mindset is a form of Positive Psychology that involves an attitude that helps a person handle situations.  Facilitators and designers with a learning and application Mindset, a Make Training Stick Mindset, can influence participants expectations of learning as well as the learning and application itself.  Facilitators with this type of Mindset embrace challenges, persist in the face of setbacks, see effort as the path to mastery, learn from criticism, and find lessons and inspiration in others.  By modeling these behaviors, facilitators encourage participants to go on the journey of learning new content by helping them focus on the experience of learning and to increase willingness to try new things.  Facilitators can build a positive climate for learning and create a nurturing Mindset with trust, commitment, care, preparation, and effort.

Here are some suggestions to foster a Make Training Stick Mindset:

  1. In the training design, facilitators should include learning goals, content relevance, practice and feedback, behavior modeling, error-based examples, and self-management strategies.

  2. Before class, send “can do” encouraging messages with positive descriptors along with enrollment details, such as “as one of our talented employees, I know will find this training is thought-provoking. Plan positive “can do” messages during the training delivery.

  3. Throughout the beginning of class, make an active effort to use positive descriptors for class members individually and/or as a group, using phrases such as “you are a bright group of trainees”…“brilliant idea”…”I can see we have a class of excellent performers.” This seems so simple but it can make a big impact.

  4. Post positive written messages in electronic or face-to-face classrooms that describe a desired end result. These types of positive statements are also called Affirmations and can be used for work-related behavior change.  Affirmations are described in detail in the Making Training Stick Field Guide (on Amazon).

  5. Consider sending a series of post-training emails with messages to reinforce a positive Mindset. Everyone gets a lot of emails these days but most people will be pleased to receive a positive, affirming note especially when it doesn’t require them to reply.

More information on these and other evidence-based elements for effective learning and transfer, are in Barbara Carnes’ book, Making Learning Stick (on Amazon).

Until next time…


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