My two oldest kids had their first baseball game this last Saturday.
Sofia (pictured) is playing t-ball. I’m happy to report that she hit the ball and ran to the right bases. Success!
I realized that while they did have a training event, most of them forgot everything they learned. All of them had to be told at multiple points what to do.
“Run to first base! No…don’t walk, run! The base is in that direction!”
“Throw the ball to first! No…not home plate! First! Turn around! Throw it over here!”
And, no, I wasn’t the dad on the sidelines shouting all those things…well, maybe just a few of them!
Here’s what it showed me:
Most people live on a “need-to-know” basis.
If they’re not doing it, they usually don’t consider the information important. But, once a person is thrown into the “fire” of the moment, they will have the desire to learn what’s necessary in order to accomplish what they want.
As leaders, this should put our focus into two main areas:
1. Don’t spend a lot of time teaching up-front information, before the person has actually done something. Most people will forget what they have been taught, because they have no action connected to that teaching. I’ve realized that what people consider to be my best teachings on a Sunday morning vary widely…it depends on what they are going through in their lives and whether what I taught connected to their lives in a real way.
This should lead us to spend the time before a person acts in giving them only the necessary information to get started. Everything else can be learned while doing.
2. Most people will be much more motivated to learn once they see the need for that learning to take place. And yes, I already mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. You see, most of the time we give people a bunch of information that is considered useless to them, then we get frustrated that they aren’t using what we’ve given to them.
If we get people involved in activity quickly, all of a sudden the information becomes useful to them. In the church world (this is the world I deal with), I like to get people involved in something as quickly as possible…picking up trash, being a greeter on a Sunday morning, opening up their home for a group meeting, being a part of our teams that serve the community, etc. If we get a person active, they will want to know more.
Here’s an important equation to remember:
Knowledge + Action = Growth
A person who solely has knowledge ends up with a big head, but doesn’t make much progress.
A person who solely takes action ends up spinning their wheels in the same mistakes, and doesn’t make much progress.
But, a person committed to DOING and LEARNING while doing it, will advance much farther.
In your organization/business/church, how long does it take for you to get people involved?
Do they need to jump through a lot of hoops first? Do they need to attend a bunch of classes first?
I encourage you to simplify. Give people the small amount of information they need up front, then get them busy!