Hello, my name is John Fallon, and I’m an English instructor at an Ohio community college.

Today I was interviewed by an instructional designer seeking feedback on a training module she is creating for the tutoring center at my college. She is creating a training workbook for new tutors to complete before beginning their position as tutors.People, particularly adults, want to know “why” they are being asked to do something.

She already knew that it was important to create a universal greeting for tutors to use when interacting with student tutees. She also had a template for the questions to be asked of each student soliciting tutoring help. Based on our discussion, the instructional designer and I came to the conclusion that adding in “context” to the directions for the training module would be a way to generate voluntary compliance by the tutors.

Knowing why a universal greeting is important and why a consistent, predictable set of questions to student tutees is important would increase the likelihood that tutors would follow the protocols being established in the training module. People, particularly adults, want to know “why” they are being asked to do something.

As the instructional designer and I reviewed her template, we could see that she could enhance what she had developed by adding in context to the explanation to tutors. It seems as though the Five Universal Truths apply to any human contact situation in which garnering compliance is a goal of the interaction.

In this case, the instructional designer felt that by adding in an explanation of context, she would enhance the likelihood that tutors would comply with the training protocols because now they would understand why it is so important to approach students in a consistent, predictable manner.

John Fallon, Verbal Defense & Influence Instructor

Vistelar Group –