Rolling Stones and A Bad Taste from Training

Last night, while hanging around the house with my wife, I had the soundtrack to the Rolling Stones concert/movie Shine a Light playing on my iPad. When the song She was Hot came on, I made the comment that this song got a bad rap back in the day. I recall hearing the song frequently back in the 80s, but unlike other Stones songs, it just disappeared after that. When I saw the movie and heard it on the soundtrack, I realized it is a pretty good song. It’s got a nice bluesy riff going through it, it’s fun, and it’s got that hint of naughtiness you expect from them.

If you are of a certain age, however, when I mentioned that song, your mind immediately went back to MTV and what was one of the worst, cheesiest, lamest videos of the time. And that was no small feat in a decade full of cheesy music videos. The video left such a bad taste in our mouths that the song could never be considered “serious” blues music.

I think software training can have the same effect on the taste left behind of any product. Don’t get me wrong, even the greatest training experience can’t help much if the product isn’t any good, but even great products can get derailed when the user’s first “experience” with it comes during a training session they hate.

As a former IT guy, I can recall plenty of attitudes among the people I was supporting that tied directly back to bad impressions of the person who trained them to use a product. In some cases, they never really got over that. The product was marred in their eyes, and there was no changing that, all because the training didn’t go well.

So, trainers, you’d do well to remember that it only takes one bad experience when users are first learning a product to mar it forever. The training experience you provide can help decide whether the user considers your product a cheesy 80’s tune or Sympathy for the Devil.

What do you think? Do you even remember the song or the video? 😉

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