Prescribing without proper diagnosis

Yesterday a colleague wanted my input on a training program she was designing. She said she needed to design a 4-hour course on communication styles, on which I have expertise. When I asked what the client wanted the training to accomplish, she didn’t know. When I asked then why a 4-hour course, she said that’s what the client asked for.

The client is a manager of a manufacturing operation. He has no experience in training or development. He was unclear what he wanted the training to accomplish. So how could he decide a 4-hour course was the proper solution?

I’ve seen this so many times in my 26 years in the people development field. The client, who isn’t clear on what s/he wants a development program to accomplish, pulls out of thin air a solution.

If you went into the doctor with a headache and said “I need an operation. I must have a brain tumor.” and the doctor said “OK.” it would be ludicrous. So why do we not think it’s ludicrous when someone with no expertise decides on a solution?

If you want to develop your people, engage someone who knows what questions to ask you, how to uncover the critical areas for development which will yield the highest ROI, and will design a solution custom made to your situation.

More info on the process of doing this is in the article “8-Step Process for Growing Your Key Talent”

Email me if you want to set up a time to help you diagnose your situation and help create an effective solution.

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