Thursday, February 23, 2017

Weird Training that Works

When I worked at Frito-Lay doing summer routes I had a great manager that had a unique training style.  When she hired me, she told me the three or four things that would get me fired and asked me if I understood.  I was scared at this point so I just said “Yes Mam.”  She then told me that she would train me the next morning and that I should be at the distribution center at 5 AM.

When I arrived at 5 AM she said “Start working, pretend I am not here.”  I thought that was odd.  I went out to the warehouse and asked her what I should do.  Not the best question as she just replied, “I am not here.”  I started to put chips boxes on a flatbed cart and she started to ask me questions and kept saying I should use my brain and find the solution for myself.

This was the beginning of a 21-hour day to finish what most route salespeople could have done in 6 hours.  I forgot to put gas in the truck, forgot my hand truck, it took me almost 2 hours to stock a 7-11 that took me 30 minutes at the end of the day and the list goes on and on.  The quote that stuck with me is the title of this blog and I will never forget it.

A month later I had a manager do a check ride with me.  He asked me how long I had been doing this and I told him “about a month”.  He said “no way, there are people that have been here 10 years that do not do it as well as you” and then he asked “Who trained you?” and I told him and he looked at me with a baffled look and said “That lady is excellent and everyone she trains is amazing, what is her secret?”  With a straight face I told him “She does nothing”.  He did not understand this and to this day I understand how effective doing nothing is to get people to think for themselves and get fully trained. 

If you need to train someone in the future remember this story.  I made every mistake possible (in a controlled environment with my boss by my side) and in one day I was fully trained.  I could do a Frito-Lay route today.  What a great training.  Thanks boss!


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