How Mentoring is the Critical "Bridge" for Successful Development
© 2003, Barry Sweeny

Return to "New Free Information" page




INDEX:


The Research of "Transfer of Training"

In 1987, Bruce Joyce and Beverly Showers released the findings of their ground-breaking research into the extent of implementation resulting from various modes of training and follow up support. This information has become the prime mover behind the increase in what is known as "coaching". The summary of their findings are provided below, and the findings are very dramatic!

The research on the need for ģin-situationī coaching:

  • Learners that will transfer a new skill into their practice as a result of learning a theory = 5%

  • Learners that will transfer a new skill into their practice as a result of learning a theory & seeing a demonstration = 10%

  • Learners that will transfer a new skill into their practice as a result of theory, demonstration & practice during the training = 20%

  • Learners that will transfer a new skill into their practice as a result of theory, demonstration, practice & corrective feed back during the training = 25%

  • Learners that will transfer a new skill into their practice as a result of theory, demonstration, practice, feed back during training & in-situation coaching = 90%

However, I caution the reader to place this work on "coaching" within the context of the mentoring relationship, for just providing technical support (coaching) is NOT enough to make sure that employees actually implement in practice what they have learned in trainings. Joyce & Showers acknowledge that NO ONE will take the risks of growing in front of another person, or their advice and "coaching" unless they first have a relationship of mutual trust with that person. Mentoring provides that relationship within which effective coaching can lead to risk-taking and growth. For more on the differences between mentoring and coaching click here.


The Mentoring Bridge

The above research by Joyce and Showers (1987) shows that the ģwatersī of implementation are ģshark-infestedī and not furtile areas for risk-taking, growth, or learning.

Only when coaching and mentoring are provided is it reasonable to expect that employees will be able to:

ļ adapt strategies learned in training

ļ solve the problems of adoption and fitting new strategies to existing settings and other skills, and...

ļ master the new strategies

so that their day-to-day practice is improved and the desired results are increased.

The implications of this insight are GIGANTIC!

Whether that training is in a classroom and face-to-face, or e-learning on the web, these principles are at work and the results will be the same.

Except in the case of increasing awareness when no implementation is expected, the only time we should even provide any training to begin with is when we will also provide the follow up support people deserve to help them implement what the training has taught them.

Otherwise, why waste our time and resources to provide training we KNOW will never change practice?! We shouldn't!!


You have my permission to duplicate this information as long as you:

1. Keep the author and copyright info, graphic header, and source info on the page
2. Do not sell it or provide it as a part of paid professional services.

© 2004, by Barry Sweeny, Best Practice Resources, 26 W 413 Grand Ave. Wheaton, IL 60187

630-668-2605, Cell 630-842-2991, email and web site at <http://www.teachermentors.com>.