How to Train For—and Deal With—Short Attention Spans

May 09, 2014 | 1829 Views

How to Train For—and Deal With—Short Attention Spans

Serah Morrissey, SPHR

Senior Director, People Resources | Schoox

The beginning of a new year is often when hotel managers, fresh off the holiday hamster wheel, take the time to hunker down and create exciting new programs to teach our teams. For most of us, at some point in the development process, we open our presentation software of choice and begin to assemble dozens of slides with articulate bullet points and a motivational quote thrown in for good measure. There is no question that hotel managers and trainers know their way around PowerPoint, but in this new world and in a new year, maybe it’s time to take a new approach.

As a proud member of the Short Attention Span club, I find it difficult to stay focused in meetings or training sessions that use lectures or slides, but when I was the trainer, I was doing just that. Most of the time, slides on a screen are benefitting the presenter far more than the participants.

Gone are the days when we can expect an audience to be captivated by two-dimensional, still slides. We live in a world where patience and focus have given way to skipping television commercials and trying to do 10 things at once. As trainers, we must adapt to our new audience and their new reality if we want to be effective.

Finally, if you’re wondering whether this new way of training is effective, ask your participants. Notice how the increased interaction and laughter brighten their attitudes. Ask them what they learned, what they enjoyed the most and what they think will be most helpful to them in their jobs.

As we enter the long-awaited springtime, here’s hoping that for 2014, you will have discovered a more effective way of training that is more enjoyable for your teams, and for you!

This blog originally appeared in Hotel May 2014 issue.

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