30 years ago I took a surf lesson. The instructor was very focused on teaching us to identify surfable waves. We floated around in the bay trying to decide, with our novice brains, which waves were not too big, not too small, and when to start paddling. By the end of the lesson, I totally lucked into catching the right wave AND, with my last shred of energy, managed to get myself into a semi-standing position to ride the board into the shore. I didn’t quite feel drawn to try surfing again until this summer.
This instructor didn’t care about teaching me to identify the waves. He cared more about standing. He instructed me to rest on my board while he looked for just the right wave. When the right wave came, he said, “paddle” while pushing me onto the wave. Nearly every time, the board caught the wave, and my only job was to muscle myself into a standing position and ride the board into shore. Time after time, I felt the thrill of the wave catching the board and rapidly propelling me along. Whoo-hoo! It was an exhilarating hour, and I am already looking forward to my next lesson.
There are a series of little steps to learn for any given task, project, or skill to master. While learning these steps in any order could get us closer to the outcome, mastering particular steps first may build enthusiasm, momentum, excitement, and buy-in. If you plan to teach your members skills, think about all the little steps people need to learn and how the order you teach these steps impacts your learner’s emotions. #Jazzed #Excited #Brave #Motivated