Telling someone they have a personal hygiene problem isn’t easy ... but there are good ways and bad ways to do it. This clip definitely shows the latter. But do you find it funny and engaging or shocking and offensive?
The clip is from a new series of ice-breaker programmes developed by the Australian psychologist Eve Ash. She says there’s a media-saturated generation in today’s organisations who feel uninspired, unchallenged and bored by traditional training. So she’s created something designed to rattle their cages.
At Video Arts, we’ve been using humour in training programmes for the past 40 years, often showing the ‘wrong way’ to behave in the workplace, in order to provoke discussion and enable learners to draw out lessons for themselves. The ‘right way’ to behave is then shown, to reinforce the learning.
Eve Ash’s series takes this established formula to another level. Her programmes tackle sensitive subjects such as surviving team conflicts and breaking bullying but she confronts these issues in a very different way. Focus groups have shown that people either love or hate this exaggerated approach and this has prompted a debate about the use of hard-hitting learning content.
There’s a serious point here. L&D professionals have to judge what learning content will work best for the audience in question. The easy option is to stick with what you know works. Your content may cross the divide and appeal to the middle ground but is it working? If you’re getting great results, that’s fine. But if there’s scope for improvement, maybe it’s time to try something different.
For some audiences, the shock tactic employed in Eve Ash’s programmes may have exactly the right impact. Laughing, sharing their outrage and discussing the behaviours on screen can bring an audience together. By using the strong feelings generated, skilled trainers can construct a shared view not only of what constitutes acceptable behaviour in the workplace but also of how sensitive issues should best be resolved.
But what do you think? Tell us by voting now in our exclusive 'yes or no' poll, and see the results as they come in.
Video Arts was established in 1972 by a small group of television professionals, including John Cleese to deliver corporate training in an entertaining and engaging way. Since inventing the humour-based corporate training video we’ve helped organisations deliver learning to millions of employees...