Shaping Paths

Shaping Paths is a boutique training company based in China and the UK and was founded by me, Jamie Dixon.

My passion in life is helping people connect. This means I design and deliver training to help people:

  • Lead others
  • Inspire through storytelling
  • Connect across cultural differences
  • Communicate with impact

But I take great care to ensure my training is practical. We all know how easy it is to forget things. And if you’re going to invest time and money in training then surely you’d hope people would actually use what they learnt?

Jamie Dixon

Practical Training

My goal is to design training people will actually USE back at work. And how do I do that?

Well, the biggest problem with training is that people forget what they learn. And this is normally because the training focused too heavily on giving people knowledge to remember. So I’ve found a solution that means people won’t forget:

I don’t give them anything to remember. Instead I give them things to use.

It’s actually quite simple. I design tools. Tools are things like:

Checklists

Templates

Processes

Models

Forms

Reference Aids

I then design and deliver training to help people use these tools. Then when they go back to work, they don’t need to remember, they just need to use tools.

Practical Means Usable

But just because I give you a tool, doesn’t mean you’ll use it. Much like if I design a footpath, doesn’t mean you’ll use it.

These tools need to be designed with care so that they fit the learner’s world. They need to be easy to use, and help the learner themselves, not just help the learner’s manager! This all takes an incredible amount of care.

And that is how I am different. My goal is to design tools that people ACTUALLY use.

So how do I do that?

My Training Philosophy – Shaping Paths

Designing PRACTICAL training takes a whole lot of care. So much care, that I had to create an entire philosophy to make it happen.

This philosophy is based on 8 years of experimenting in the training room and researching about how to connect with people. And I’ve even written a book about it (coming soon!).

And Shaping Paths is a fantastic metaphor for my training philosophy.

Firstly, There is a Path

I train people to DO things such as tell stories, build rapport, or de-escalate conflict. A lot of the time I’m helping them find better paths, or even completely new paths, that they can follow to reach their goals.

Secondly, The Path is Shaped

I can’t force people to do things. But I can do my absolute best to make these paths so easy and so beneficial that following them becomes almost inevitable.

So Does Shaping Paths Work?

The truth is, that just like dieting, it requires certain conditions to work.

Diets don’t work when people don’t want to lose weight. Diets don’t work when there’s no healthy food around. And diets don’t work when people don’t get enough exercise.

Training is exactly the same.

So before your company invests money into any training solution, consider the following questions:

For training to succeed, we must be able to measure it. After the training, if people achieve their goals, solve their problems, or even stop complaining, then the training has probably been successful!

We have to be certain of the success factors before we begin. But don’t worry, if you’re not certain then I can help you.

People learn because THEY WANT to, not because their managers want them to, or because their KPIs require them to. The reality is, not everyone needs training.

But maybe they do need training, they just don’t realise it. Then no problem, I can help them discover the benefits.

People need time and space to reflect in order to learn. ESPECIALLY in the weeks following the training. Even if it’s only 20 minutes a week to review what they’ve learnt, and plan what they’ll use. But if they’re so busy they don’t even have time for that, then they don’t need training, they need a Doctor and a long holiday.

If you are serious about creating change, then I can help develop a PRACTICAL follow up plan to help them use what they learn back at work.