Approach

We use a cone to illustrate how our programs are designed. A skill is introduced at the top of the cone with a variety of examples to demonstrate its most diverse and broad applications. Then, we focus increasingly on the applications of the skills that are most relevant to the workshop members.

Instructional Design

Our goal is to improve day-to-day performance on the job. In order to achieve this kind of bottom-line improvement, we focus on four processes involved in learning and performance: 

Conceptual

Does the person understand the skills taught the training?If participants don’t understand the skills, then they won’t use them-or will abuse them-after the training is over. The conceptual portion of skill acquisition is often labeled “knowledge transfer.” Research on people skills suggests that knowledge transfer plays a relatively minor role in improving performance. People often know what they ought to do, but fail to act.

Behavioral

Can the person perform the skills taught in the training? If participants can’t perform the skills, then the training will have been a waste. Some skills have difficult concepts, but easy behaviors. Examples are chess and calculus. Other skills have easy concepts, but difficult behaviors. Examples are swimming and unicycling. Interact’s skills include concepts that are easy to learn, and behaviors that require extensive practice.

Motivational

Does the person want to use the skills? Participants judge a training program, and decide whether the skills it teaches are relevant, appropriate, powerful, and worthwhile.

Attentional

Does the person see the opportunities to use the skills? This is the toughest obstacle training faces. Most people manage their busy lives by focusing their attention on a few areas, and getting through the rest on “automatic pilot.” Many will leave a training program and never notice the opportunities to use their new skills.