Tip #958: How to Get Participant Buy-In

The first session of First Aid for New Trainers focused on how to get participant buy-in. The more invested the participants are in the training, the greater likelihood that they will learn, retain, and apply their new knowledge or skills back on the job. The earlier that buy-in occurs, the easier the training experience will be for both the participants and the trainer.

There are eight strategies that can be used in virtual or classroom training programs:

  1. Use a Quick Start, which asks the participants what is one thing that would make the session valuable to them.
  2. Ask Common Ground Questions, which are 3 or 4 “how many of you?” questions about the content, with the aim to have everyone ultimately raise their real or virtual hands. This also primes them to participate.
  3. Set up a Pair Share, which separates the group into participants who are seasoned and who are less experienced in the content area. They join into groups of 5 or are placed into breakout rooms, where the seasoned participants talk about what they wish they’d known when they were starting out and the less experienced participants ask questions they’ve always wanted to ask a more seasoned person. This co-opts the more seasoned participants by having them serve as the resident experts in their groups.
  4. Select Learning Objectives, in which the participants identify two or three learning objectives that are meaningful to them. They can use real stickers on flip-charted objectives or digital stickers on a PowerPoint or virtual whiteboard.
  5. Ask “What are the benefits of…” learning the content, which the participants brainstorm their answers.
  6. Ask “What are the consequences of not…” learning the content or making the change, which the participants brainstorm their answers.
  7. Ask “What are the challenges of…”the current system or situation, which the participants brainstorm their answers.
  8. Ask an Intriguing or Unexpected Question, which draws the participants’ attention to a key point in the training content. For example, in a training session for supervisors about how to manage difficult employee behavior, ask “What do your employees need to be successful on the job?”

The next session of First Aid for New Trainers on January 18th will focus on How to Overcome Participant Resistance. Registration is at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/first-aid-for-new-trainers-tickets-492093273227

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