How to teach in 10 easy steps

One of the primary reasons that some businesses training programs work, and some don’t, is in the method their managers and trainers use to teach new skills. This seems to be especially true in restaurants and food services, due to the prevelance of leaders without formal educations. Sorry if that offends anyone, but it’s true.

While proper teaching technique is not something that comes naturally to everyone, it is easy to learn following a simple multi-step procedure.

    Write procedures on paper for whatever skill is being taught.
    Distribute written procedures to anyone being taught.
    Review the written procedure with the person(s) being taught.
    Answer any questions or concerns about the procedure.
    Confirm the person’s comprehension.
    Demonstrate the procedure to the person being taught.
    Observe the person demonstrating the procedure to you.
    Identify any wrong steps in the person’s procedure.
    Re-demonstrate the procedure specifying the correct.
    Repeat the Observe, Identify and Re-demonstate steps until the person is able to perform the procedure error free at least three consecutive times.

You can commit this process to memory through repitition yourself. Simply memorize the first words of each of these steps until you do. They should help you remember the step that each of them represents.

Write, Distribute, Review, Answer, Confirm, Demonstrate, Observe, Identify, Re-demonstrate, Repeat.

This method will work to teach pretty much any skill or process, but you have to have the patience to repeat the Observe, Identify and Re-demonstrate steps until your student has the skill mastered. As with anything, practice makes perfect.

This technique should not only be used to teach new skills, but also to correct any procedures performed incorrectly by an employee or student. A steadfast resolve by yourself and your managers to use this technique will result in greater compliance to existing procedures by employees, and increased speed of implementing new procedures.

Brandon O’Dell
O’Dell Restaurant Consulting
Office: (888) 571-9068