Stop Talking. Start Showing

May 18 2012

“Sometimes in our enthusiasm we may be creating the very resistance we’re trying to overcome. ..What we find cool, others find intimidating. What we find useful, others find threatening. What we find magical, others find scary. And the very benefits we tout are sometimes exactly what others fear.”

Dr. Jane Bozarth is an e-learning coordinator, an author, and popular speaker. Quotes below were blatantly stripped from her recent article “Nuts and Bolts: Selling It” from Learning Solutions magazine.

..Do not expect to generate change in a one-shot meeting. Chip away at resistance. Chip away at the bad examples. Chip away at individuals and their objections one at a time. Bring the idea up again on Tuesday, and again on Friday. Look for opportunities to demonstrate a small idea, and people amenable to listening.

..I can’t tell you the number of times I have heard someone – people from L&D, no less – try to “explain” Twitter, or the advantages of storyboarding, or use of a new navigation plan. Stop talking; start showing. Become fluent with examples, mockups, and demos. What the competition is doing. What the competition is not doing. Watch for opportunities to fit a solution to a real problem.

Find small wins.

The lust for “enterprise solutions” can make us slow. Look for opportunities to conduct small pilots. Recognize small wins, then document and share them. Find pockets where there is a greater likelihood of acceptance.

Get clear on the business case

I find people have a hard time articulating business need or desired result. “Because it’s cool” is not a reason, and “because we can” is not a strategy. What problem will it solve? ..It’s no secret that I love new technologies, but I need to be careful not to be just the geek girl wandering around with a tool in search of a problem.

Finally: Stop cajoling and complaining and dragging. Figure out a space in which you can act, and just DO it already.

Jane Bozarth maintains a blog at, and can be found on Twitter @janebozarth

See Also:

Another great Jane Bozarth article: Nuts and Bolts: The 10-Minute Instructional Design Degree

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