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Tie it back

Updated: Oct 26, 2022

I recently led a training for a group of leaders at Microsoft. My plan for the training was lined up - step-by-step. I knew what I was going to share. I knew what their learning objectives were. Everything was ready and going well.

Then I got the unmistakable impression to change things up. At the last minute, I included more questions and focused more on bringing our trainings full-circle and reminding everyone of what we had already learned.

We were in week 5 of 12. Having a virtual training is always harder - on both me as the presenter and the students. But for some reason, this training went better than any of the previous session.


Because I tied it all back. I reminded these leaders of what they had already learned and then taught them how what they were learning now could rely on their previous learnings.

That impression reminded me that we can't always keep going down the path of learning without grounding ourselves in what we already know. By asking questions and inviting the students to reflect on what they had already learned, we were able to bring everything into context. We were able to build upon what we already knew.

When you tie something back, you bring it back onto what is already established. You do this to anchor yourself. You do this to firmly establish a connection. You do this to secure the new onto what is pre-existing.

This was my big insight for the week. If you want to be successful in guiding, coaching, training, or teaching others, you need to help them tie it back. Help them build on what they already have.

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