“Help! I’ve lost my car keys!”
Was the cry I heard on the school run a few days ago. The lady in question has one of ‘these new cars’ where you don’t put your key in the ignition. My husband has one too. He thinks it’s great. He never looses his key. He gets in the car, puts the key in his trouser pocket and thinks no more of it.
As long as you’re a man.
Men tend to always have trouser pockets: Whether in shorts, jeans or smart wear for work, there’s a pocket.
I hate this little gimmick. Apart from my jeans, my clothes tend NOT to have pockets. Skirts, dresses and smart trousers just don’t have them, so where to put the key? It’s a problem.
The person (presumably a man) who came up with this idea couldn’t see a flaw. It works for him, so why wouldn’t it work for everyone else?
There’s a danger that we all start to see the world through our own particular lens, and this is also true of when we are planning, designing and delivering training. I’m on twitter, and the view of a number of twitter users is “why doesn’t everyone just use social media to source their learning?” “We shouldn’t be ‘providing’ training – people should be able to get it for themselves”, “give people permission and they will develop themselves”.
All this is true…OF THOSE PEOPLE. They are all tech savvy. They are all self-motivated. They are all curious and willing to search out new things. Not everyone is. Some are scared of technology. Some aren’t allowed to use social media at work, and don’t want to use it at home. Some aren’t interested in learning for the sake of it. Some like to be told ‘the answer’.
Of course, these are two extremes, but in between, there’s a whole spectrum of learners, and we must take care not to assume that learners are ‘like us’. So, as well as doing a training needs analysis, it’s important that we do a ‘learners needs analysis’ too.
What’s the point in me having to put my car key in my pocket if I don’t have a pocket to put it in? What’s the point in providing training in a way that doesn’t suit the learners?