Friday, August 5, 2016

Storytelling—A Powerful Instructional Technique for Attitudinal Trainings


Learning and development managers would vouch for the fact that attitudinal trainings are amongst their key training areas. Attitudes can either facilitate or hinder constructive thinking and actions. Workplace attitudinal training (such as promoting safe and ethical behavior, resolving conflicts, imparting organization’s culture, or getting a buy-in for the management's change agenda) helps employees develop a right attitude. This, in turn, helps them to improve their performance and progress in their career paths. Attitudinal trainings also help organizations to create a positive work environment.  

Delivering effective attitudinal trainings is quite a challenge! And if you ask why, well, the subtle intent of such training is encouraging employees to behave in ways that are considered desirable for the organization, and discouraging undesirable behaviors. It is tricky to formulate the right training strategy that will have a direct impact on employees’ attitudes and behaviors. Convincing or influencing one’s decision or behavior under certain circumstances is not easy, especially when you have employees from diverse cultures or nationalities. Also, employees may not perceive attitudinal trainings as directly related to their job roles, performance improvement, or upskilling. Hence, attracting and engaging employees in such trainings is a task. Employees may not be interested to complete the course and forget the learning once the training is over.

Why storytelling can be one of the most powerful instructional techniques for attitudinal trainings? 

Stories are inspiring. Changing or influencing learners’ attitude is possible only when they are motivated. And evoking emotions can motivate them to change. Storytelling is the best way to tie emotions with the message and set that ‘emotional connect’ with the learners. They will instantly get hooked to a story that uses characters and plots reflecting them, or their real life challenges and situations. They empathize with it, and start relating to the content. This motivates them to think, feel and act differently. When learners are motivated by themselves, they no longer need to be persuaded to change.

Stories are attention grabbing and make information easier to remember. No matter how busy people are, they pause to listen to a story or tell one of their own. Stories have dramatic arcs that can retain learners’ attention long enough. This can work better than making learners read or listen to any information. Everyone is familiar with the structure of a story and can intuitively process information from a story.  Stories let learners grasp the knowledge in meaningful ways. They present information in a coherent form, transforming the abstract/complex ideas into concrete, relatable examples. This keeps learners from forgetting the learning after the course.

No matter if it is a classroom training or eLearning, storytelling is a powerful technique that can motivate and persuade leaners during attitudinal trainings. But, the big challenge here could be converting the training content into a story. Raptivity, a rapid interactivity building tool, comes with a rich collection of interaction templates that can help you string storytelling into the course. Some Raptivity templates useful for storytelling are:

- Character Dialogue: Conversation between illustrated characters or objects
- Interactive Timeline: Sequential display of a long chain of events in a captivating manner
- Branching Scenario: Multiple scenes which lead to multiple paths
- Immersive Learning: Interactive tour of a concept, process, or scenario using hotspots
- eBook: Multimedia 3D eBook
- Simulated Situation: Series of scenes which are presented in a flow
- Interactive Video: Videos to narrate stories along with interactive elements

These interactions can be infused in an eLearning course as well as in PowerPoint Presentation to be used in classroom trainings. All one has to do is to select a template, fill it up with your content and publish. Interested to try out Raptivity for your training needs? Take a 14 day free trial and experience the power of interactive storytelling.