How Do You Respond When Someone Asks You to Jump?

Shadows of people jumping.
May 7, 2014

In response to a thought-provoking story about a saleswoman whose many rings served as the basis of her business conversations, one Kirkpatrick Community member reflected: “Before I learned to stay focused on business priorities, someone would ask me to ‘jump’ and I would ask ‘how high’?”

However, with her new strategic focus, she now instead asks, “Why do you want me to jump, and how will my jumping help to make a positive change?”

She requires a convincing answer to these questions before using any of her time and resources to respond to the training request.

Immediately jumping to develop and deliver a new training program when presented with a training request from the business is the old training model. Asking “how high” is like asking how many people need to be trained, and when. If you retreat to your office with only those answers, your jump often will result in a big splash; your training program is likely to fail.

Instead, focus on the business partnership model, which encourages you to get answers to the most critical questions: What is the problem that needs to be addressed? What is the ultimate goal? Is training the right answer for solving this problem and meeting the highest-level goals of the organization? Training in and of itself is not the highest goal.

With the answers to these questions, which come from in-depth conversations with your stakeholders, your training is much more likely to have the desired impact. Your stakeholders will be more invested in the training package from the start, and in the end, you will be able to demonstrate the business value that your training contributed.

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Additional Resources:

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