Don’t Forget to Speak the Language of Your Customers

March 13, 2015

What Don Kirkpatrick Wanted You to Do – Part 2
by Jim Kirkpatrick

Last week, I passed along my first bit of insight as to what my dad, Don Kirkpatrick, would have wanted you to do in regards to the four levels. Click here if you missed it.

This week, I’ll share some rather obvious but often forgotten wisdom that dad reminded me about time and time again.

Read on to learn about the second thing that Don Kirkpatrick would want you to do.

My dad was big on reminding me of the importance of always considering my audience. Yes, Dad. I know. Still, he would continue to tell me. It must be important, so I will pass it along to you.

“Jim, if you are training a group of people, I want you to develop the program with them in mind. And when you are training them or speaking to them, I want you to constantly consider your audience.” I know he would like it if you all did that. The type of language, the content and the real-world examples all need to connect your audience to you.

This ‘directive from Don’ doesn’t stop with training. He often spoke about the need to “get managers on board with what you are training so that they can encourage on-the-job application.” Again, we need to be very conscious of the time constraints and attitudes of the supervisors of our trainees so that we don’t overwhelm them with requests to fill out surveys and coach their employees.

Finally, Don would be pleased if you are mindful of the temperament, attitude and needs of stakeholders and training sponsors. Earn the right to offer your business-oriented suggestions by first truly listening to all they have to say about their challenges and pain points.

Is all of this rather obvious? Yes. Is it easy to forget to put into practice? Oh, yes. 

Want to hear more about what Don Kirkpatrick would want you to do? Tune in again next week for the next tip, and be sure to attend one of my two ATD 2015 ICE sessions entitled “What Don Kirkpatrick Wanted Every Learning Professional to Know.”


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Additional Resources:

What Don Kirkpatrick Wanted You to Do – Part 1

In Loving Memory of Don Kirkpatrick

Don Kirkpatrick Commemorative Package

Evaluating Human Relations Programs for Industrial Foremen and Supervisors (Don Kirkpatrick’s dissertation)

The Kirkpatrick Four Levels® CD Set

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