Making Emotional Intelligence Sticky

I had no idea about the value of post-training reinforcement until I completed my dissertation. Actually, it was quite a surprise to me!

For 20 years, I was happy to have great “Level 1” evaluations for my programs. I knew that the programs were having an impact on the participants but I was not sure of the sustainability of the concepts. So, my dissertation studied the impact of a half day learning intervention on improving emotional intelligence competencies. I found that the programs allowed the participants to gain awareness of the competencies, but not the development of the competencies. That said, the good news is, my study also identified that the competencies can be significantly improved with a half-day workshop when combined with a post-training coaching session.

The literature has long shown that the long-term outcomes of development programs fall below expectations after participants leave the program. In fact, there is little post-training reinforcement or support in the development of new positive habits. The successful integration of new concepts into daily behavior requires that the individual have moments of insight and recognizes that there is an opportunity to apply the strategy learned.

It’s become clear that learning must be reinforced during and after programs to make a real difference. In fact, post-program reinforcement can be accomplished in many different ways including: one-to-one coaching sessions with a coach or manager; e-mail or text messaging campaigns; follow-up group teleconference sessions; or follow-up reading.

What post-training tools do you use to reinforce the new learning?

For more, read the November, 2010 T+D article, “Demystifying the Emotional Intelligence (EI) Quick Fix,” by Laurie Carrick.

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