The major predictor of how well learning gets transferred into the workplace is the attitude of the learner’s boss” (T.T. Baldwin and J.K. Ford, Personnel Psychology)
However good the course, however effective the trainer, however keen the learner, if the boss is not ACTIVELY supporting both the learning and the transfer, then getting new skills applied in practice will be an uphill struggle.
So what can or should the line manager be doing – before, during, and after the course – to make the most of the training “spend”, and promote transfer of learning to the workplace, which is where it starts to pay back dividends?
We all “sell” all the time – it’s just, we usually only think of it as “selling” if money changes hands. Come to think of it, anyone who wants to influence someone else is in the business of selling for example, a leader in a corporate environment who wants to motivate others in a meeting to a certain course of action, a manager in the Fire & Rescue Service who needs to make a case to the boss, or an individual in the customer service “front line” who needs to placate or persuade the client.
So what are the core skill sets? Well the good news is that there are basically only two: putting your case together in a clear, organised and reasoned way, then expressing yourself persuasively so as to convince the other person (or people) that it’s a good idea. Of course, there are many techniques that go into each of these two basic skill sets, but these are the main considerations.