How To Design Training That Sticks

How To Design Training That Sticks

Over time many of us develop habitual ways of communicating. It is not until these ingrained behaviours are no longer serving us that we may decide to try a different tact. This was the case with John who elected to attend a Learnfully course due to communication challenges he was having in a new job.

Our challenge is to deliver the content in a way that resonates with all our participants, no matter their background or experience. Each situation is different, and it is our job to design a course that is useful in real life. We want our participants to get value and to be able to create meaningful change in their work or personal life. Our approach is not didactic. It is not about going to a course and then it’s done.

First we need to understand the barriers people face in developing positive and productive relationships with their colleagues. This allows us to fully consider how we can enrich learning from different angles.

We all have different learning styles. The 4MAT model identifies different types of learners. These include the ‘why learner,’ the ‘what learner,’ the ‘how learner,’ and the ‘what if,’ learner. A similar learning styles model describes learners as ‘activists’ (the ‘what if this happens or that happens?’), ‘theorists’ (‘why do I need to know this?’), ‘pragmatists’ (‘how do we apply the information, so it works?’) and ‘reflectors’ (‘what do I need to know?’).

When we are designing courses we are always thinking about these concepts and how to provide information that is going to stick to meet the specific learning needs of each participant.

We were delighted to see John take on many of the strategies we suggested. He was amazed at how effective the course was when he completed his post workshop personalised coaching.  What he found most useful were the follow up ‘Learning Bytes’ (quick 2-minute content refreshers to help deepen the learning) and the images used throughout the course that helped to remind him how to approach communicating with his team. Delivered to participants via text message these ‘bytes’ use images and minimal, targeted words including some of our favourites; check your mindset, get curious not furious and build trust in small moments.

“Before the workshop, if I was backed into a corner, I’d get defensive and retaliate without thinking of where the other person was coming from. I’d get super defensive.

After doing the workshop I had an incident with a colleague. We discussed the issue, she apologised and arrived at an outcome that gave us a more productive way forward.

I now take a breath and think about where they’re coming from and say, ‘I understand where you are coming from …now let’s try and resolve this.’

I have learnt not to be afraid of asking questions, not to hide away from conflict.

I have also found that by being curious rather than furious, I’ve built a better relationship with my team and now my colleague greets me with a friendly hello when I get to work.”


Carefully considering the learning needs of our clients is the key to the success of our courses. Communication skills can be improved with the right training and learning tools and, with practice new habits can pave the way for better relationships and a happier workday experience.