The hoop starts on the bottom of the pool, and when the dolphin swims through, it gets a reward.
The hoop is raised ever higher and when the dolphin goes through the hoop, it gets a reward.
If the dolphin does not go through the hoop when signalled, it gets no reward. BUT, it does not get punished or chastised. It is given time to think.

Eventually, the hoop is high above the water and we see a spectacular performance.

So, a complex task (for a dolphin) is broken into stages and positive reinforcement given as each stage is mastered.

I know you don’t have a team of dolphins, although that could be rather fun 🙂

But what do you use as a balance between positive reinforcement and chastisement?

Here’s another way to put it… Do you use love or fear with your team?

And what do you do to break a task down into steps that can be mastered?

Here are some simple steps to help design task training.

My best wishes, Paul


By Paul Matthews – Speaker/Author/Consultant on Informal Learning and Workforce Capability
Author of bestsellers “Capability at Work: How to Solve the Performance Puzzle
and “Informal Learning at Work: How to Boost Performance in Tough Times
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