Changing

As a trainer, I often approach a problem from a positive, optimistic and almost naïve point of view. I assume that people want to be more productive. I assume that people want to be a better worker. But do they, really?

Some people may deliberately choose to lag for lack of motivation. Some choose to not to do 100% because they think 75% is already earning them a comfortable lifestyle. So what are they doing in a training class if they feel things are just fine?

The biggest challenge here is not to change the paradigm of the participants, but to challenge assumptions and one-sided thinking, which I unfortunately have. And the best place to start is by thinking that they don’t need this training. What must a trainer do to sell the idea of change to the participants?

Some use a case, some use to use an example of a person so successful others cannot help not to want to be like that person. And yet, many people are like the story of an old man and his dog.

In a rural area far from the city, a visitor lost his way. He finally came to a cabin where an old man was sitting in his rocking chair while nursing a drink in one hand, and a pipe in the other. The visitor asked for direction, and while the old man was talking, he could not help noticing the big dog
that was lying in a wicker basket near the rocking chair. Every now and then the dog whined pitifully, but its master did not seem to care.

The visitor could not restrain his curiosity any longer, and asked, “Is your dog OK? It seems to be in pain.” Upon which the old man replied, “This old wicker basket? Some of the nails sticks out and pricks the dog.”

“But why didn’t the dog move somewhere else?” Asked the perplexed visitor.
The old man put the pipe in his mouth, scratched his graying head, and said, “Well, I reckon because the nail ain’t near that painful for the dog.”

Often times a good inspiring story is like a nail that doesn’t give enough pain to make someone want to leave his situation for good. For a moment it sounds so electrifying and people ooh and aah over the glitzy powerpoint. But by tomorrow everything is back to the way it was before the training.

So we need to build such a strong case to persuade people to make a permanent change in their lives. Something that got them thinking and saying, “This is not acceptable anymore.”

To Be Continued

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