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Frances Ferguson

Glasstap Ltd

Training Design Manager

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Beliefs or Behaviours?


Don't you just love it when life suddenly comes together? When you have been juggling lots of different ideas, thoughts and you can't quite seem to make sense of them. Then suddenly they coalesce into a beautiful moment of magic. A moment of brilliance when, what previously felt like wading through mud, is now a crystal clear stream of understanding? A moment when you go "Duh! Why didn't I realise how simple it was?"

I have been working on designing training for a client on a subject that I admit is not a favourite of mine, but is nonetheless an interesting challenge. That subject is Equal Opportunities & Diversity.

When I say it's not my favourite subject, maybe I am being a little unfair here. I actually believe with all my heart that we all benefit from being around people who think differently to us.

I know from my time working in the Middle East how much we can learn from and enjoy being with so many different cultures.

I absolutely believe that teams with different thinking preferences make the best teams there are, once we have made it through the storming phase (personal experience and my work as an HBDI facilitator have taught me that).

So why does my heart sink and not soar when faced with this design challenge? 

I know that I have pulled together what will be a great training day; my client is really happy with it. Yet it still does not give me the same buzz as I have felt with other courses.

Why is this?

Then I realise, the problem is that when it comes to the legal situation I feel a bit like Darcey Bussell on Strictly Come Dancing; I love the intention, I love what is being attempted here, but the execution? Well lets just say that some of the legal implications aren't quite what I expected.

As I ponder on this, enter the wonderful Rod Webb (Glasstap founder & TZ blogger We are chatting on the phone and I mention my frustrations and he says the most marvellous thing:

"The challenge is that we have started to confuse beliefs with behaviour"

And that is when the lightbulb went on. He is completely & utterly correct. We are all entitled to our own views but it is what we do as a result is what matters.

Do we enhance the world around us, or are we so focused on our own beliefs that we can't see the needs of others?

It is such a good way to look at this training & how I can convey it to a room full of managers.

His question "Beliefs or Behaviours?" is a great one to ponder; as a training professional even more so. What is our focus when we are designing & delivering training? Is belief or behaviour our primary aim?

It is a bit like a the eternal chicked/egg conundrum; are we wanting to change beliefs or is it all about behaviour? 

Personally speaking, Rod's words were a great reminder of something I hold dear; that if you want to make sure the training was worth it focus on what happens after they leave the room. For that our training always needs to embrace both what people feel, know and think but also what they do.

So thank you Rod,  your three little words were the best thing I heard all week :-)

Author Profile Picture
Frances Ferguson

Training Design Manager

Read more from Frances Ferguson

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