Overcoming Resistance To Learning

1305 Words6 Pages
Overcoming Resistance to Learning 1 Overcoming Resistance to Learning 2 Malcolm Knowles’ (1989) principles for overcoming resistance to learning have given me a new perspective on adult learning. His techniques for getting people to become self-directed learners have prompted me to change the way my company presents professional development plans to our employees. There are also obvious parallels between Knowles’ principles, and the Principles of Adult Learning course. Resistance to learning is a challenge I am required to overcome quite frequently in my work as a training manager. Some of the training programs I administer are professional development plans for individuals wanting to be considered for a promotion, or recently promoted from within the organization. These individuals are usually highly motivated and eager to learn new skills and concepts that will help them to succeed at work. Most of the training programs I administer, though, are for employees who are required to attend continuous improvement workshops or policy and procedure training. This routine training is perceived by many to be a waste of their time, or uninteresting. I always outline the purpose of the session and how it applies to the attendees, but I frequently experience resistance in the form of poor participation. One of the more effective ways I have found to overcome that resistance is to use what Knowles refers to as “role models”. I use the success of other team members as examples to be followed, and ask those individuals to speak whenever possible. This usually prompts lively discussion, and engages the attendees into the training session. In the future, I will also incorporate Knowles’ (1989) strategy of acknowledging that “… I knew some students were there under compulsion and that I wished this weren’t so…” (p.2). I hope the result will be same as Knowles observed when
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