What Distinguishes Behavior Training?

  • Hans M. Verheijke

Hans M. Verheijke

Gründer & Chairman
Business Performance Academy

Der Gründer und Chairman der Business Performance Academy blickt auf eine mehr als 35-jährige internationale Karriere als Führungskraft zurück.


Artikel von Hans M. Verheijke,
Gründer und Chairman der Business Performance Academy

At present, there are 3 forms of training which we can differentiate:

  1. Cognitive training: Cognitive training is a training based on knowledge; the goal of this training is it to acquire information and to be able to remember, recite and understand the information learnt (e.g., in the form of a written test) thus gaining new knowledge.
  2. Skill training: Skill training is about applying the acquired knowledge in a practical situation. For example: learning how to drive, one of the first things taught is where the pedals are and what purpose they serve. Accordingly, the driver applies this knowledge when practicing in a vehicle, using the pedals whilst driving according to the information obtained, thus acquiring the skill of driving.
  3. Behavioral training: Behavioral training teaches you to apply skill and acquired knowledge in all sorts of situations. Let us continue with the example of driving; driving styles can vary between drivers. Even though the skill and knowledge is theoretically the same, there can be a significant difference in driving behavior, i.e. performance. One would have to train the driver’s behavior in order to make everybody’s driving style effective and compatible. Knowledge and skill have little effect on driving style.

What does developing behavioral competence mean?

Mr. Jones is not an entrepreneur and does not deal with customers very often. This may be because he is shy or an introvert; nevertheless he is given yet another course about customer orientation, by means of a PowerPoint presentation from which he doesn’t receive much guidance. To successfully develop the trainee Mr. Jones, one must relate with his ambition, motivation, and personality.
Organizations are gradually realizing that behavioral competence is highly important in order to realize and venture towards set goals. Ultimately, it is about how a manager uses with his or her knowledge and experience; where does the connection lie with his ambition, motivation, and personality? All of these points are of essential importance. A desired leadership style is never guaranteed or determined through one’s knowledge and experience.
Training one’s behavior is rather difficult due to the fact that 90% of our behavior is instinctive and unconscious. However, we are still primarily judged upon our (visual) behavior.

How do you successfully participate in a behavior training course?

Humanity has a natural tendency to evolve. The Stone Age didn’t end due to a lack of stone; it was mankind that chose to develop. During the development, one should be more careful to not think of exaggerated scenarios (e.g., to become the best of the best, world famous, etc.). It is the self development which is most essential. This leads us to the core of the behavior training.
Knowledge and skills are entities that one has adjusted for one self, in other words: to personalize. Behavior and how one gives leadership and guidance has to correspond with the person and his or her personality; giving leadership as someone you’re not will lead to exhaustion after each day of work.
The natural tendency of the Twentieth Century is to further develop, consistent with the requirements of a modern organization. Modern organizations are very dynamic and the market is constantly changing. The pro-active attitude of managers is what to anticipate for.

Participating in training

Behavior can be changed through behavior. This means that in a behavioral training one has to have an active (communicative) attitude. This is essential for the development and the feedback for the trainer and trainee. For example, a trainee cannot be given feedback if the course consists of an observational exercise, such as watching a movie. Participation is the key to working on behavior.
The didactics of the Business Performance Academy training courses are positively provocative. This means that the trainer will challenge each participant to explore his or her best qualities and to improve upon his or her weaker qualities. Working on improving your own behavior is tricky (this is because mankind has a tendency to think that one’s own way is most efficient) so it is of utmost importance to motivate yourself and keep staying dynamic.
One of the main principles to remember when managing others is to be able to manage yourself effectively. When having a leading function it is crucial to have a good self-image. The neurosis of a manager will translate into his or her manner of working and therefore an organization may easily transform into a neurotic one.

A  BPAcademy  training courses consist of many questions, short exercises, and presentations. One’s leading style and communication skills are particularly defined through the presentations. Someone who has a very grandstanding style of presenting may have difficulty recognizing other people’s talents, not to mention developing them. The sooner one acknowledges his or her own competence; the sooner one learns to optimize his or her own competence ideally.

Behavioral training is focused on the individual’s performance.
Research shows that leaders who combine masculine proficiency (goal focused) with feminine characteristics (social & emotional) are more successful.
A summary would be: Tough on the content, gentle with the relationships. Needing less to say, the function’s content should be based on leadership; however the relationships between the co-worker and colleague is a determining factor for success. Throughout a training course the trainer will focus on the managerial relationships and unsuitable or needless behavior. Feedback will be given to each individual participant.
At the end of a training course each participant will receive a summary of recommendations in order to become even more successful in the future.

Implementing Competency

A misunderstanding about learning is that the learning process of an adult (behavior wise) is very different to that of a child. For example, teaching a child the essentials of balance is not going to help him ride a bicycle. The child has to get on a bicycle and develop its own skills, learning from each mistake first hand. When we want to learn something new, especially when it concerns behavior, the golden rule to achieve results is through the means of repetition and willpower to keep trying.
The same principle counts for our leadership style. It’s important to implement what you learn into a real practical situation as soon as possible. Creating habits may initially feel forced, but once you have accepted and obtained these habits, they will quickly be transferred to your unconscious.
Once new behavior has been personalized, the change will give you motivation to continue. The most satisfying thing is once you realize that your new behavior has been positively adapted through the means of critics from others and yourself. Learning is a progressive challenge, but when you succeed, you will have achieved more then you have invested. Sadly there are managers who already die in their forties and get buried at age sixty-two.

So, how old do you feel today?