012 – The Importance of Contextual Training | Rebecca Fleetwood Hession

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession is the President of Fleetwood Hession Consulting, providing leadership development, sales training, and coaching for human resources and training teams. As a mother of child with Attention Deficit Disorder, she is a passionate speaker and advocate to increase awareness and knowledge of ADD, leading to her creation of the program “Not Wrong Just Different: Seeing ADD Differently.” Her TEDx talk on the subject has gathered more than 100,000 views.

She believes that dynamic staff development comes from the process of improving day-to-day work, not just from training sessions and classes. She fully endorses the idea of kinesthetic learning, in that the best leaders are the ones listening and learning from others on the front-line. It’s these direct conversations that foster educational opportunities for all levels of management.

For Rebecca, motivating employees is all about providing consistent context in addition to hosting deliberate and engaging trainings to build real skills. She preaches quality over quantity, the idea that companies should focus on doing better work, not more work.

Truth You Can Act On:

  1. Do Less, Better: Find the right training programs for the right people, and don’t focus on a mass quantity of programs. Are managers and leaders reinforcing the trained behaviors once everyone gets back to the job? Emphasize better work, not more work.
  2. Contextualize to Foster Engagement: Engagement is critical for a business to thrive – more specifically, employees need to know the context of how their learning ties into their day-to-day roles. You don’t have to provide entertainment or “bells and whistles” to foster emotional ownership within your business.
  3. Leaders Need Regular Interaction: The best leaders are the ones creating opportunities to learn from employees regarding their daily routines and pain points. These “in between the meetings” conversations are the basis for creating better top-level coaches and a more engaged workforce.
  4. Provide Opportunities for Deep-Thinking: Don’t just take employees off site to entertain them. It’s all about creating an environment for employees to think deeply about the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of their work. Treat emotional bandwidth as a precious resource.

Nikki’s Book Recommendation:


  • PurpleInk – Purple Ink’s customized HR services will help you make your workspace JoyPowered. Whether you’re looking for help with recruiting, compliance, or leadership training, they listen to what you need and tailor their solutions to you.
  • Custom Concrete – Custom Concrete has been creating foundations for the finest homes, commercial buildings and industrial facilities throughout Central Indiana since 1969. Builders, contractors, and homeowners rely on our expertise because so much depends on getting it right. Our knowledge and control of all aspects of the job, from excavation to waterproofing to backfill, means that extra value is built into every project. Codes don’t drive our business, excellence does.

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