Skip The Fads—Invest In Training That Achieves 3 Crucial Results

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“Dad, I didn’t know you could do that!” declared thirtysomething daughter, Tara, grinning ear-to-ear.

Little 4-year-old McKenna loved what she was seeing, too.

What were they so amazed by?

The QBQ! Grandpa efficiently spinning a Hula Hoop around his waist and hips—and keeping it going!

Hula Hoops, what a fad they were.

From pet rocks to PEZ dispensers to parachute pants to spinners, fads can be fun for kids and adults. However, here’s a truth:

In the training and development arena, the last thing we need is fads.

Whether it’s walking on coals, swinging from tree to tree, working to escape a locked room, or trying to make disengaged staff suffering under an unskilled supervisor feel happy, I just don’t buy into training trendiness.

By its very nature, a training fad provides little to no longterm value.

Now, before I get any angry emails from organizations that buy them and the vendors who purvey them, I need to point out that I didn’t say faddish activities can’t be fun. But if it’s fun you’re seeking, call it … FUN.

Not learning and development.

After 32 years in the organizational development industry, I humbly beseech the corporate world to … STOP. THE. MADNESS.

Instead, invest in practical training that works—for the long haul. Please purchase and implement training that achieves these 3 crucial results:

1. Training should make us THINK

After a “Personal Accountability and the QBQ!” keynote, a client said, “You don’t get a lot of standing ovations, do you, John?”


“Um, what causes you to say that, Ted?” I inquired.

“Because your message of personal accountability makes me think too hard.”

As Henry Ford said, “Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it.”

Let’s find content that makes us THINK.

2. Training should help us FEEL

Feelings such as excitement, anger, love, joy, fear, and passion drive us. Guilt, too.

Remember this—guilt is good.

(Now, shame is bad because shame is about being bad. That’s why effective parents never shame a child. See Raising Accountable Kids)

But guilt is good because guilt is about doing bad—and I can change what I do.

Manager: I’ve been taking my team for granted and I’ve not praised enough. I feel guilty. I’ll now change.

Salesperson: I’ve been blaming my poor results on product pricing instead of acquiring new selling skills. I feel guilty. I’ll now change.

Friend/co-worker: I’ve not been asking others about them, only talking about me. I feel guilty. I’ll now change.

Let’s find content that makes us FEEL.

3. Training should cause us to ACT

As we write in the QBQ! book, learning isn’t about attending a class, listening to a speaker, or reading a book. Learning is about …


We must translate knowing what to do into doing what we know.

After delivering a QBQ! session to a team of rugged firefighters, an audience member said, “John, I just called my 16-year-old son and asked him to meet me at Denny’s. I’ve been hard on him lately and I need to let him know—as you said in the session—that I can only change me and that I love him just the way he is.”

After I complimented him on his action, he continued …

“I feel really good about the phone call because though it’s almost noon, I didn’t say one word about him still being in bed!”

Now that’s change! That’s learning.

Let’s find content that makes us ACT.

– – – – –

When was the last time you attended a training session that caused you to THINK in new ways, FEEL differently than you did before, and ACT?

If that happened, you found content that works. A rare moment. An outstanding moment. We’d love to hear about it here, so share away!

Looking for training that works? Click here.


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