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Unleashing Your Expertise and Gaining Credibility Through the Art of Spontaneous Training

Dec 13, 2023

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Untold Compliance terminology:

Nicole emphasizes the power of framing in her teaching.

The preframe sets the stage by influencing how people perceive and remember information, acting like a movie trailer to spark curiosity.

The post frame reinforces key takeaways and action items, aiding retention.

Nicole delves into the science behind these framing techniques in her book “Told,” explored further in The Untold Compliance Editorial.

What you will learn in this article:

“Every opportunity we have we should be training people spontaneously.” (Nicole Rose)

I hear you sighing and wanting to stop reading. Adding training to your role seems almost impossible when we are so busy in our roles! Who has the time?

In this article I share how we have more opportunities and therefore more time than we may think through the art of spontaneous training.  To illustrate my point, I share my story about using an unusual platform for an informal and totally unplanned training opportunity.

As you will learn below, sharing our experiences, providing our insights, contributing information and answering a question with a story, is spontaneous training. This not only leads to learning opportunities for our stakeholders and colleagues but also provides us with an opportunity to gain credibility.

Spontaneous training can be to one or many. At the end of this article, I share a list of breezy training opportunities that I have used.

Here’s the point; training (spontaneous or formal) is the most effective way to share our expertise and to build trust.

Are you ready to know more?

My backstory 

I had been in the company just a few weeks when I was asked by my manager to present to the board our legal strategy to prosecute a senior ex-employee. We wanted to stop them from taking clients and setting up in competition in breach of their employment contract. She talked me through who would be in the meeting. And I quickly looked at their profiles. It was 5 minutes of research but valuable. 

I learned that the person I was updating them on had worked with some of the men in the room for nearly 20 years. His leaving the company and setting up in competition was clearly going to be personal. 

After my short factual update to the board, one of the members spoke up. 

“I’m going to tell him exactly what I think of him, and then I’m going to make sure his name is mud in the industry. I’m going to ….”  

“No, you are not.” I said (louder than I expected). I am slightly embarrassed to admit that I banged the table with my pile of papers for emphasis. “I have worked too long and hard over the past week for that to happen. We’re going to be patient and we’re go through the legal process.”  To be honest I was as surprised with my outburst as everyone in the room was. 

The men at the table, ranging from mid 50’s to 60’s, were stunned into silence. 

I gulped. Had I gone too far? I hadn’t left the office before 11pm for a week now and my fear of the case being derailed, briefly, overtook any fear of the men in this room. 

The floor was still mine. So, I explained enthusiastically, but more calmly, what would happen if we acted in the way suggested. I took them through the court process and my experiences working similar cases. I shared what I thought would happen if we followed the legal strategy. 

In short, I took the board through a lesson on breaches of fiduciary duties using this real-life example. I was 31 years old. And whilst I had worked on such cases before, I was definitely no expert. That was for the highly experienced Barristers and senior partners in law firms to attest to. 

I then went to leave the room. My briefing was over. 

The man who had initiated my outburst got up and shook my hand. He asked me to stay for lunch with the board. I thanked him and said I had to go back to work. I had already been far longer than the 15-minutes allotted and I knew that my manager would be chomping at the bit for an update.   

Now, not making the most of a networking opportunity by declining the lunch invitation was a rookie error and one that I would never do again. But the rest of it was a perfect learning moment for me and the people in the room. 

And as for the high court case, we got our injunction over the next few days. 

Phew. But this result was not down to me. It was down to the excellent barrister and law firm supporting us. It was also down to the fact that I was working for a large company who could afford high legal fees. 

But I was the one who had the opportunity to take the board through the process and provide the learning moment. This case set up my credibility with some of the most senior and influential people in the organization. 

In the future, when there was an issue, I was the one who was asked “what should we do?” by some of the most senior people in the organization. I soon found myself involved in the highest profile and most interesting projects in the company. 

Key spontaneous training takeaways 

  • Even if you are only partly an expert in a subject, by sharing a learning moment, you immediately build credibility and therefore confidence that you are someone they can turn to. 
  • If you already know something about the person you are delivering some type of informal training to, then you can use this knowledge to demonstrate to them that you’ve ‘got their back’. That you know their business. That you understand where they are coming from. 

Action items for Informal training opportunities

The point of informal training is it fits in with what we are already doing. We are just finding an opportunity to train people. People naturally learn ‘on the job’ whilst they are working.

  1. You can attend other team’s meetings and provide learning moments.
  2. When you are asked to write an update for a board or executive meeting, why not also ask to come along and talk about one of the topics.  Or just ask to come along to answer questions.
  3. You can speak at another team’s ‘away day’.  Explain what you do and share a few stories.
  4. Do a short 3-to-5-minute video interview with a colleague talking through a new initiative and share on your company’s intranet page.
  5. Write an article for your company on a new relevant point of law, putting the practicalities into plain English, and post it to your intranet page.
  6. Send an email following a call summarizing your guidance and take the opportunity to hyperlink a relevant article written by you or someone else.
  7. Get yourself on the agenda in a meeting to provide an update on a new initiative. Use the opportunity to share a learning moment or a summary of the type of cases that you are seeing come up. 

Untold action items

To uplevel your legal or compliance program through a customer centric approach to training and communications, there are three things you can do:  

  1. Preview: Get on the list to be the first to read Told: How in-house legal and compliance professionals secure airtime, gain traction and transform organisations.  
  2. Learn with me Find out how you can utilize our Frame Training Method TM

Let us do it for you: Learn about working with us directly.

Just click here.  Feel free to tick all three.

And if you liked what you read, I would love to hear your feedback. Please send me an email at nicole@untoldcompliance.com.