- Motivated adults are capable of gaining insight into themselves
if presented with appropriately constructed instruments and written
materials. Individual workbooks are a way of accomplishing this.
- Individuals who use our workbooks should not have to
have a grounding or academic background in psychometric theory
or statistics in order to use it.
- Individuals who use our workbooks must be able to understand
their results without having training in academic psychology.
- The workbook must recognize that different people have different
ways of gaining clarity on, and acting on, personal feedback.
- WCI Press self descriptive workbooks will be complete and self
contained, with every thing needed by an individual (questions,
scoring instructions and interpretation material) contained in
- The construction of the questions and the scoring method must
be straight forward, and be capable of being understood by a
- The workbook must describe behavior and behavior patterns
that are observable by others. The construction of the model
or conceptual framework used in the workbook must be explained
in the interpretation section.
- The interpretation section must be structured so that people
can go to their results, and read only their results. This will
allow those who understand best through dialoguing with others
to read the minimum necessary. At the same time, the interpretation
section must allow those who understand through reflection to
understand their results.
The workbook must be set up so that there are a variety of learning
paths through it, allowing individual readers to shape their
use to their needs and personal development styles.
Our Adult Learning Curriculum Development Framework
We use a adult learning curriculum design framework that we have used for
years to guide us in the preparation of the program contents.
We make a distinction between:
- learning that - factual knowledge that can often be most cost effectively be taught in e-learning programs, either on DVD or over the Internet,
- learning how to - knowledge based how to do skills that can often be cost effectively be taught through computer based learning simulations using tools such as Adobe Captivate,
- learning how to - physical (including sport) and interpersonal skills that require practice, drills and feedback (including video based feedback), which are best taught in face-to-face programs and through coaching,
- learning why, including why not to - which generally require discussion of cases and examples drawn from experience and dialogue with peers / experts who have credibility.
The 80/20 Principle Applied to Interpersonal Skills
We believe that 20% of the interpersonal skills equip us for dealing with 80% of the situations that we encounter as with interact with others at work. People are mostly well intentioned and relatively un-stressed as they work with others in a day-to-day situations.
Most folks acquire many of these "20%" skills as they are educated and become adults. The rest they can acquire and refine in well-structured professional development programs that last hours and days.
The other 80% of the skills are needed for dealing with situations which:
- involve higher levels of stress,
- do not normally occur in the workplace on a day-to-day basis,
- involve conflict between people or groups,
- require complex interactions and the highly disciplined application of methodologies in work groups,
- involve interpersonal dynamics in which some or all of the individuals are mal-intentioned.
These "80%" skills take formal training and practice which incorporate structured feedback and supervised to develop. They often take years, not weeks to develop and to hone. The need specialized professional development programs and individualized coaching to develop. Their development never ceases, but goes on over the person's life time.
The Sport Skill Acquisition Model Applied to Interpersonal Skills
In sports skill training, complex skills are broken down into individual components. Learners acquire each one through demonstration. They are encouraged to "visualize" themselves successfully completing the skill in their minds. They are given the opportunity to "drill" in the component skill. The drills involve immediate feedback (e.g. you either sink the basket ball or you do not). Periodically, learners "scrimmage". These scrimmages allow them to integrate the individual component skills in complex ways in the context of "not for real" game play. Real games allow learners to "apply" what they have learned in this way "back in a for real game".
We know that interpersonal skills can be developed in the same way. We break them down into individual components. We encourage individuals to "visualize" themselves doing each component skill successfully. We provide drills that practice the component skills. We ensure that there is immediate feedback using video, commentary on video, and "structured" one-on-one and group-to-one verbal feedback. We use periodic role plays to provide scrimmage opportunities. Finally, we use "what I will do back-on-the-job" contracting to transfer the new skills back-to-the-workplace.