Three points need to be emphasized at the beginning of any training, workshop, or seminar.

Your way of thinking about conflict, communication, and persuasion must shift before anything else can happen.

Your way of consuming information, your attention span, and your level of caring about the content you are about to hear, must shift before any deep learning can happen.

Your way of listening to the delivered content must shift from passive to active, for without that shift, nothing else can happen.

The desire, of course, from some of the participants is for these three things to happen. And these points being made out loud makes those participants relieved.

But there are other desires in the room.

The desire to get the tools, get the skills, get the listicle version of the information, and then to leave.

The desire to get the lecture, get the knowledge, but to not engage in any deeper change. After all, such change is challenging, and if there’s no support in the environment from which you came for change that needs to happen, well then it’s easier to ignore the calls to change.

The desire to not care. This is reflected in the phrases, the questions, the statements, and the observations that spring forth from the participants. Typically framed by some participants as “I hope that you can keep me awake,” or “You kept me awake more than any other facilitator I’ve ever sat through.”

The desire for the listicle version, the shorthand, the summary, the 30-second point, is seductive. But ultimately, changing the philosophy about how we think, matters more than applying shortcut tactics to achieve an outcome we might not enjoy.