How to know your learners better than they know themselves

We all know it’s vital to keep the learner at the centre of any learning solution. But, more often than not, this still seems to be ignored. Sidestepping this challenge of really getting to know your learners and putting them at the heart of the learning prevents us from understanding their intrinsic motivations – and from delivering true behavioural change.

However, like most worthwhile challenges, putting the learner first isn’t easy. Everyone comes with their own idea about what they think a person’s job entails, what priorities they might have and what they truly need to do their job better. Add to these preconceptions those of the project sponsor, the SME, and every other person involved in the project, and you can see why the actual learners’ needs can get left by the wayside. Speaking to learners is essential but getting access to them is, for some reason, like getting access to the Queen!

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