Wednesday, June 2, 2004

Tip #24: Create a motivational environment: Concern

The sixth motivational training technique is Concern. The learner may have a clear intent to learn, because of a concern about the consequences of that learning- for example, certification. However, sometimes the learner's concern can become overwhelming and make learning difficult.

6. Concern:

The learner's level of concern relates to how much the learner cares about learning. A moderate level of concern is necessary to increase the learner's effort to learn. The level of concern can be raised or lowered as needed to increase the learning effort.

Example: An instructor raises the learner's level of concern by mentioning that a certain piece of information is important or will be tested. Level of concern can be lowered by assuring learners that their learning style and pace will be accommodated, or that the training has been set up in small segments with lots of practice time to ensure that they are successful.

Few people learn well when they are highly anxious. There are many steps we can take to lower our participants' level of concern, so that they feel comfortable and relaxed enough to be open to learning. It may be a simple matter of making sure that everyone introduces themselves before the training begins, so that everyone knows who is in the room. It may involve recognizing that participants' status and ego are at stake and taking care to set each participant up for success. It may require using familiar metaphors to make a complex and seemingly difficult topic more accessible.

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