Instructor Development

Need, Nice, Why


Michael Warren

April 15, 2022

April 15, 2022

I don’t know about you, but I can be somewhat impatient. Ok, ok. I can be downright a pain in the keister if I feel that my time is being wasted. In the spirit of complete transparency, I am often the biggest waster of my time – which has led to some interesting arguments with myself. But that’s a story for another blog.

Where I really struggle is when I finally get to go to training, and my time is wasted there. By the instructor, or the curriculum designer, or whoever decided to send me to the training. And my time is wasted because no one seriously considered what I need to know, what is nice to know, and what makes me ask why I need to know this.

Training time is precious. It’s precious because it’s rare. And because it’s rare we can’t waste it. Ever.

As instructors and curriculum developers we MUST ensure that the overwhelming majority of the training that develop and/or provide fits into the need to know – with an occasional crossover into the nice to know domain. Nice to know can be used to enhance and support the need to know material. Not so for the why category.

Just as a side note – one of the dangers of using a survey to find out what trainings people want is a long list of nice to know and why do I know topics. When surveying your folks to find out what trainings they would like to attend, it is probably a good idea to include a section that asks them to explain how the training is relevant to where they are or where they are going. It helps to focus the list more to the needed side.

Spend your resources – time, money, and energy – where it is needed. Need sustains us, nice supports and enhances, having to ask why just wastes our time.