How do we help reluctant staff learn new technology? What if it’s we who resist embracing new ways? How can we “get with the program”? The first thing to consider is that emotions affect the brain’s ability to learn, think, and remember. Self-doubt, fear, and resistance prevent the brain from doing these things, whereas confidence and interest facilitate learning, thinking, and remembering. Just accepting Henry Ford’s maxim, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right,” is encouraging. Once we realize we can master new ways, we’ll begin facilitating our own learning.
Whether the reluctance is from you or a staff member, determine what the issue is. Help the individual see what’s in it for them when they stay current with technology. Meet them on their terms. For example, don’t talk the potential for promotion unless that’s their motivator. Once the motivation is established, ask the person what helps them learn best. Is it taking it slowly, personalized training, watching someone else, reading about the process first, or another approach altogether?
Structure the learning around their needs. Create an environment that is stress-free, allows for lots of practice, and tolerates errors. Research shows that most people learn best through trial and error, feedback, and repeated practice. Please don’t compare this person to others on the team, and discourage them from making such comparisons. Otherwise you’ll be right back where you began, with fear and self-doubt. Finally, look for progress and offer genuine, specific praise and encouragement—and don’t forget to do this with yourself if it’s you who is the student.
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