Linking In with Matt

Matthew Richter posts daily comments in LinkedIn—well almost daily. You can follow him and join the conversation by going to For the benefit of our readers, we decide to compile and reprint some of his provocative pieces from the past. Let us know what you think.

Align with Your Training Objective

One of the greatest risks in using games or activities in training is the activity doesn't connect in a relevant or purposeful way. I remember getting very excited to try a cool game and finding ways to insert it, regardless of its value to the program. That was a disservice to the participants. Doing so is one significant reason participants scoff at interactivity. But, when the activity is obviously, overtly, directly connected to learning, participants always engage. The most exciting game is inappropriate if it doesn't relate. As Thiagi says, all things can be taught through activity and all things should be taught through activity. Just choose activities that fit your learning objectives.

Three Types of Interventions

Training has a very specific purpose. Training is skill development and it requires application, practice, and feedback in its design. If my intent is to convey a new policy, expectation, or concept, the best way to efficiently communicate is a memo, email, job aid, rubric, or meeting. If my goal is to change attitudes, my intervention is coaching, mentoring, or simple dialogue. Sometimes, these three types of interventions can weave together-- a new concept needs to be shared, then applied, while inspiring participants to embrace the change. In the end, be sure you know what your objective is and design the best interventions to meet that goal.