If you’re great at your job, you’ve probably been asked to teach others how to do some of the things at which you excel. Doing something well is not the same as teaching others to do it well. Leaders focus on strategies for getting the best results from trainees.
Here are five tips for a successful knowledge transfer:
- Learn from your Mistakes
Share a mistake you made when learning to do the task. Nobody is perfect, and you didn’t get where you are by beginning with flawless performance.
- One Step at a Time
Chunk tasks so any snags are caught early. Hand the learner a segment and say “When you’ve done this part, you’ll have accomplished the first 10%. Come see me and we’ll decide what the next step is.”
- WWYD (What Would You Do)
If someone seems to catch on quickly, don’t tell him or her what the next step is. Say, “What are you going to do next?” You may learn a better way!
- Puzzle Pieces
Never say “this is really important.” Instead, ask “What result do we want from this, and why?” Let them figure out how the puzzle pieces fit.
- Teach Backs
Reinforce the learning with teach backs. One or two days after you’ve taught someone how to do something, ask that person to show you how it’s done.
If you’re thinking now of someone who taught you well, send him or her an email with thanks for what you accomplished. Ending the note with “You taught me that” will cement a relationship with a person who may be able to give you future tips to transfer your knowledge.
Contributed by Laura Simms, Risk and Safety Specialist, Co-Staff Services.