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[Video] 4 Elements Critical to Changing Employee Performance

By Phil Geldart on February 13, 2017

Experiential learning is a powerful tool for behavior change, but what makes it so successful? In this video, Eagle's Flight CEO and Founder, Phil Geldart, will walk you through the four components needed for changing employee behavior; conviction, knowledge, skill and results. He also discusses how experiential learning can play a significant and powerful role in each of these four areas to create a long-lasting behavior change in your organization.

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Video Transcript 

People have a chance to be themselves, but be themselves in an experience. So for example, you might be representing a diplomat at the United Nations, having to deal with many of the challenges that you face in that kind of a scenario. You have to deal with countries that are perhaps your friends and some that are not quite so friendly. But within that environment, you behave as you normally do and you get the outcomes that you would normally get as a result of your behavior. So the experience of being a diplomat in the United Nations, can provide a great learning opportunity because when the experience is over, we can pause, sit back and say “Alright, based on your behavior”, what happened.

So I think experiential learning is a great tool to truly change behavior. And the reason is, behavior changes based on four things. You really need to get four things right. Conviction, Knowledge, Skill and Results. So, let me show you how that works.

In conviction, I'm trying to build a conviction that I need to change. And in my example, perhaps of the Diplomat in the United Nations, I may have discovered that my behavior antagonizes people and I didn't realize that. But when the debrief comes at the end of the experience and I get feedback, I realize unintentionally without any premeditated thought, I just behaved in a way or acted in a way or made decisions, which actually antagonize people to a degree that I hadn't anticipated. And now that the experience has given me a bit of a mirror, I can pull back and realize that behavior, is not so good, I should change it and then I've built conviction. That's the first thing to really do if you want to change behavior - is build the conviction of the need to change.

The second thing is I need to know what to do differently. So, in an experience, I've got the behaviors and the results of those behaviors, and in the debrief I can sit back and say “Alright, what did I do that gave me that outcome” and “If I were to do something differently, I would get a different outcome.” And so I gain knowledge, I learn what to do differently, and its intellectual but at least now I know what to do differently and that comes by looking at the experience and seeing what happened.

The third thing which has to change is my skill level. I have to take the knowledge that I have and do something different with it. I can't just behave the same way now that I'm more educated or more informed or smarter about other ways of behaving. I have to practice that, and in many cases an experience allows you to do that. So, if I use my United Nations example, perhaps partway through the experience, I pause, take a look at my behavior, take a look at the consequences of that behavior, learn some new skills and then get placed back into the experience. And now I have a chance to practice those new skills and practice those new behaviors, and the experience gives me that opportunity.

And then the last thing is the focus on results. When all is said and done, organizations are not wanting to pay for training. They want to pay for the results of training [and] the benefits of training. So we need to link new behaviors, new ways of thinking and new convictions to improve results. Whether it’s shareholder value, or being a better leader, or being a better employee, or being more effective in the community. Whatever the result that we are looking, that result needs to be transparently evident as a result of the new behaviors. And an experience allows me see the consequence of what I do. Initially, I behaved in a certain way, then I learned some new skills, built some conviction, practiced those skills and [have] seen an improved result. And in the end I say “Wow, I actually changed the result of my behavior by changing my behavior.” So experiential learning is very powerful to pick up on those four things - conviction, knowledge, skill and results.

Now, clearly within an experiential learning event, it’s a bit of a stretch to try and do all four. But it’s easy to select maybe one or perhaps two of those and use the experience, or an experience, to get at those. And the way to remember this is to think in terms of the four H’s. Conviction is heart, knowledge is head, skill is hands and results is harvest. Heart, head, hands, harvest. Those are the four things that are essential for truly changing behavior, and experiential learning is a great vehicle to get at each one of the four.

Experiential Learning Changing Behavior to Improve Performance

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