Training: Step 1 is to Prime The Pump For Results

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Training, like most words in business conjures up various images:

  • Class Rooms
  • Work-books
  • Certifications
  • Boot Camps
  • Lectures

I think of training in 2 buckets:

1)  Formal

2)  In-formal

The bullet points above are formal.

Formal, structured training certainly has its place in business.  There’s a tendency for senior management to expect immediate results or a “spike” in productivity, like some type of sales promotion increasing sales in the short-term.

In-formal training is where the action is.  It happens off the cuff.  Spontaneous.  Un-predictable.  Free-flowing.  Back and forth.  Sounds a bit like everyday life doesn’t it?

If you want to know how the lion lives, don't go to the zoo, go to the jungle.


The purpose of any training program needs to be about growing people, and then as a result, business growth becomes easier.Developing people can happen at the water cooler.  In the hallway.  On the production lines prior to start-up.  Walking out the door.

How?  Ask a question or two to get their wheels turning……

  • Where are you from?  Why not get to know the people making it happen?

  • What do you think about…….?

  • How you feeling out there……?

  • What are you hearing about…..?

  • What are you looking to accomplish this week?

  • How can I help you?

  • What’s working out there?

  • What’s NOT working out there?

  • What are your goals this quarter?

If your business has not focused on “Training” and is not in the mindset of developing people, you just can’t “Flip the switch” and expect big returns to happen from your new found religion.  

A pre-cursor to training success is a workforce that has been engaged by the leadership of the company.  Until the troops realize “THEY MATTER,” all the classes in the world won’t have the maximum impact.

Prime the pump.

No different than training for a marathon, you just don’t wake up one day and try to run 10 miles the moment after you commit to running in one.  You may want to warm up.  Cool down.  Stretch.

For training to work, you need a high level of 2-way engagement.  Training is not about “fixing, telling, showing” although there’s a degree of that.  It’s more about taking a ride down the path of growth WITH someone, at their side.  The more THEY drive, the better.  The more the TRAINER listens, the better.  Think Coach vs dictator.

The great Tom Peters has 2 extraordinarily simple but powerful concepts that allow for “Priming the Pump.”

MBWA:  Management by wandering around.

WDYT:  What do you think?

Both are masterful.  Both value the people and their contributions, and serve as a humbling way for leaders to learn from the Jungle, not the Zoo.

Get the Pump Primed to improve your training results.


Zig Ziglar on Priming the Pump…

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