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From the Road

From the Road: Insight from REACH 2010

Steve Willis is a master trainer and vice president of professional services at VitalSmarts.Steve Willis is a master trainer and vice president of professional services at VitalSmarts.

From the Road

I’m on the road training almost every week—training here, training there, training, training everywhere. So, it’s a rare and nice occasion when I can be in my home state of Utah for three or more consecutive days. And, it’s even nicer when those consecutive days involve the annual REACH Conference.

REACH 2010 was held August 4-5 in Salt Lake City. It was great to see so many familiar faces from sessions I’ve conducted over the years and to meet so many new certified trainers. I loved catching up with people and especially loved the new ideas and insights they shared about how they are using VitalSmarts training materials. One new insight came from David Zinger, a Certified Trainer from Manitoba, Canada.

David has a great way to prepare his participants to engage in exercises. While I’ll highlight how he uses it to set up the Angry Accountant exercise in Crucial Conversations, I want to emphasize that this approach is not limited to this specific exercise or program.

After he introduces the first skill of Master My Stories, David asks participants to turn to page 140 in their manuals and take a couple of minutes to read and discuss the definitions of facts and stories with a statement like this, “Take a couple of minutes to review the definitions on page 140 because we’re going to use them in the next exercise.” He gives them a chance to review and talk about the definitions and then launches them right into an exercise that allows them to put those definitions to use. This exercise puts the responsibility for learning squarely on the participant and puts you in a position to coach and clarify.

I encourage you to try this out in one of your own upcoming sessions (In fact, I used this approach today during an Influencer class) and I think you’ll agree with me that David is definitely on to something here—Thanks again, David!


Steve Willis

As one of the original trainers at VitalSmarts, Steve has been on the forefront of developing award-winning training programs, perfecting quality training platforms, and delivering training content that has influenced more than 500,000 people to date. In addition, Steve has trained and certified thousands of employees, managers, and trainers from Fortune 500 companies across the nation. read more

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