I was field-testing a training process recently. As I reflected on it, I realized we were answering questions that the people at the training event wouldn’t even be asking for at least two more years. Sure, I might know they would be asking it in two more years, so it’s tempting to throw the information in there. But is it helpful?

It’s really, really easy to make that mistake. Too many trainings are like that one. We dump a whole truckload of information on unsuspecting people who didn’t need it all yet. It’s like someone saying they’re thirsty so we hit them with a fire hose. How does this realization change how we deliver training?

What if we broke it down into smaller training units? What if we provided an orientation, then provided the rest of the information piecemeal over a year or two? If we did that, we could give them information as they needed it—not before. We could walk alongside them as they implemented what they were learning. We could wait for them to ask the questions rather than anticipating questions. We could help them stay on track and encouraged along the way.