At Interact, we use a cone structure to illustrate how our programs are designed. A skill is introduced at the top of the cone with a variety of examples to demonstrate its most diverse and broad applications. Then, we focus increasingly on the applications of the skills that are most relevant to the workshop members.
Our goal is to improve day-to-day performance on the job. In order to achieve this kind of bottom-line improvement, we focus on four processes involved in learning and performance: conceptual, behavioral, motivational, and attentional.
- Conceptual: Does the person understand the skills taught in the training? If participants don't understand the skills, then they won't use them, or will abuse them, after the training is over. The conceptual portion of skill acquisition is often labeled "knowledge transfer". Research on people skills suggests that knowledge transfer plays a relatively minor role in improving performance. People often know what they should do, but fail to act.
- Behavioral: Can the person perform the skills taught in the training? Some skills have difficult concepts, but easy behaviors. Interact's skills include concepts that are easy to learn, and behaviors that require extensive practice.
- Motivational: Does the person want to use the skills? Participants judge a training program, and decide whether the skills it teaches are relevant, appropriate, powerful, and worthwhile.
- Attentional: Does the person see the opportunities to use the skills? This is the toughest obstacle training faces because many people manage their busy lives by focusing their attention on a few areas, and getting through the rest on "automatic pilot." Many will leave a training program and never notice the opportunities to use their new skills.
Using a combination of thought-provoking video, engaging practice, and concrete applications, we make it easy to learn complex skills and apply what you learn. We give specific instructions about what to look for and what to do in all sorts of situations. There are three features of Interact's videos that make it especially effective.
Uses many brief scenes per session: Each session has 8 to 10 scenes that are less than 30 seconds in length, allowing it to make a single point that drives it home in a direct way participants can understand. With this, you receive more participation and discussion that focuses on the subtle features often times overlooked in longer scenes.
Highlights common pitfalls: We make the essential features of a skills clear by showing what happens when the feature is done correctly and when it is changed or left out. Due to the complexity of the skills, it is important to know both the right and wrong way so that you can be sensitive enough to realize the nuances of human interaction.
Demonstrates the skills in a wide variety of settings: Research shows that participants usually only see skills modeled in a few settings. Since we know every situation is unique, we model these skills in a diverse setting to break the artificial barriers that prevent people from applying the skills to their personal situations.