What do snakes in the garage have to do with training?

Got your attention, didn’t I? I know, I know, strange question. My parents winter in Florida, and apparently they have a snake living in their bushes…the bushes by the driveway and front walkway. Furthermore, this snake likes to cool down in the shade provided by their handy-dandy garage. Needless to say, my parents aren’t too happy, and neither am I since I’ll be visiting them in less than a week!

So now you’re probably wondering how I’m going to segue from snakes in the garage to training. Watch this! My mom’s first reaction is to hole herself up in the house and refuse to come out. Does that sound familiar? What happens when we train on a new process or procedure? Don’t many of our learners hole up in their safe-places and refuse to come out?

I asked my mom if it was a poisonous snake, or if she knew what type it was. She said, “it’s a snake”. She wasn’t even interested enough to find out more about it…and doesn’t that happen to us every day, every time we train something? I’m convinced our job is to motivate people like my mom to want to learn more about something, even if they’re afraid of it. I still haven’t quite figured out how to do this…I’m open for suggestions!

My mom is afraid, and uninterested. So she has a negative attitude. This is what I face most often as a trainer. People have a negative attitude towards the material – do these sound familiar?

We’ve implemented a new software every 2 years since I’ve been hired – why should I learn this one?

Every time you people (I really hate that “you people”) train us, something goes wrong with the training session/webinar/software/blah blah blah.

As I’ve said in previous posts, I don’t see myself as a trainer; I see myself as a salesperson and a translator. And my biggest sales job is to sell enthusiasm and interest, even if it is in a black snake in the garage. It’s not easy…anyone who’s ever done this can tell you that. But, ah, when you get that one person who says “I looked it up and that snake is on the endangered species list and is completely harmles”…there’s nothing better!

About Tricia Ransom

Patricia Ransom: wife, daughter, friend. Learning, laughing, living. Chicago, Illinois, downstate. Townie, urbanite, traveller. Note: The opinions expressed on this blog belong solely to me and should not be assumed to reflect the opinions of any of my employers past, current, or future.
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One Response to What do snakes in the garage have to do with training?

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention What do snakes in the garage have to do with training? « Tree of Learning -- Topsy.com

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