Stop Babysitting Your Team – Use the Simple Five S Training Method – Like a Flight Instructor Does

This week, I want to share with you the training methodology that flight instructors use to help brand new pilots fly planes safely, and how you can apply it to your business to train your staff more quickly and be able to delegate more effectively.

So if you’re looking to save time in your business, stick around for this one.

So why is aviation so safe?  It’s because pilots are trained relentlessly right from day one of ground school, all the way through becoming an airline captain.

The training never stops. And why is that?

Well, the stakes are really high.  Someone could get killed or hurt if someone doesn’t do something right.

But I find that in business, the stakes aren’t as high and business owners will often abdicate instead of delegating and training their team. 

They’ll throw a task at them, team member says, “Sure, boss, I’ll look after that.”  They don’t get the proper training.  They make mistakes.  It doesn’t go well.  The business owner takes the task back.  The morale drops, because as the owner, you’re frustrated that you have to take a task back.

And the team member is frustrated that they had a task taken away.  And then the business owner is stuck with all these tasks and can’t focus on the strategic because they’re so stuck in the weeds.

So I want to share with you what I call the Five S Method for Training. (And I just kind of made it the Five S’s because that’s kind of fun.)

But this is what flight instructors do to train brand new pilots who have never touched a plane before or never flown one to be able to fly safely.

So here it is:

  • Syllabus
  • Summarize
  • Show
  • Share
  • Solo

I’ll take you through this:

The SYLLABUS, this is our ground school.

This is everything that you need to know that you’re going to be learning over the next few months, right?  The student pilot can go and study.

So that would be like, in your business, giving your team member an onboarding process or a training curriculum and say “Here’s the things I want you to learn over the next few months and be able to take these responsibilities on, to be able to grow your role, and to save me time and help me be more effective.”

The next is, you’re going to take one of those tasks and you’re going to SUMMARIZE.

When you summarize, you explain “This is what we’re going to do.  This is what’s required to do this function.  Here’s the resources that you need.  Here’s how much time it should take.

And that’s similar to the flight instructor summarizing a maneuver that the student pilot is going to eventually do. “Here are the steps to do what we’re going to do.  Here’s where we’re going to start.  Here’s where we’re going to end up.  This is what we do along the way.

Then you’re going to SHOW.

The flight instructor will say, “Watch this.”  And the student pilot sits back, watches the instructor perform the maneuver.

Same for you when you’re training a team member.  You show them how to do the procedure or create the outcome that you’re looking for.

They’re just going to watch and observe, take notes, and ask questions.

The next step is to SHARE.  This is where the flight instructor is going to allow the student pilot to try out the maneuver.

But they’re going to be there to guide, to coach, to answer questions and maybe even grab the controls if need be while the student pilot is trying something for the first time.

That’s what you want to do with your team member.  When they go through a process the first time, you want to be there with them to help them make sure that it gets done correctly and that they learn along the way.  That they’re not making mistakes.

In that process, you may have to iterate through a few times.  Whether it’s a flight maneuver or a process in the business, they might not get it the first time, right?

So you have to be patient and continue to coach them along until they’ve got proficiency.

When you see this proficiency, now it’s time to SOLO. 

And that’s where the flight instructor would let a student take a plane on their own or perform a maneuver and be hands off and let the student do their own recovery. (Unless things went really bad.)

And it’s the same for you.  Let your staff member solo on the process.  Let them start, let them go through it, let them finish.  Let them try to correct their own mistakes along the way.

And what you’re going to see here is it takes a little while to do this.  It takes a bit of time.

But guess what?  It’s effective training for the student or your staff member.  They’re going to learn in depth how to own a process from tip to tail so that they can look after it.

You no longer need to do it.

They can be solo and you can move on to other things.

So I hope you’ll find this method helpful for training folks in your business and get some of your time back because your team is getting more effective and taking on more responsibilities so that they can grow as well.

And I wish you a fantastic week of training your students.

Connect with me on LinkedIn

Schedule a Discovery Call with me

Subscribe to the Take Flight podcast for new episodes every week 

Tags: , , , ,

Let's Talk

Dan Holstein – Your Business Coach

With all of the responsibilities and pressure of running a growing company,

it can be hard to rise above the day to day firefighting to do what YOU want to do.

If you know there is more potential in your business than you are able to tap into right now, let’s talk!

Call me at 905-876-2234 or complete the form below and we’ll get in touch! 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *