At different stages in the learning and change processes it is feasible and valuable to evaluate the actual transfer of desired behaviours in real life.
During a "Shadow Test Out" a trained observer attends meetings, interviews or any other real life routine activity of the person or team. In a later session observers provide detailed reports of their observations on how specific actions were carried out, rehearsal of actions that need improvement and, recommendations for the future.
NOTE: The presence of the observer becomes “invisible” and does not really influence the way people act on their habitual job performance. It is an opportunity to facilitate the desired changes and the acquisition of new habits.
We conducted a "Shadow Test Out" after training on leadership and participation in meetings in a services sector company's (logistics and distribution).
Middle managers and collaborators had attended, separately, 8 hours of training on how to lead and how to participate in meetings, respectively.
The trained observer, in this case, the same trainer, attended two meetings of each team to perform the "Shadow Test Out". He later met for two hours with each team and shared both attitudes and practices that were desirable and behaviours that needed improvement. Participants re-constructed several parts of the meetings and reflected upon their changes.
In a follow-up six months later, it was found that 89% of new behaviours had become habits. Participants commented increasing productivity in meetings and the climate of confidence and proactivity that was established by then.