ORBiT: Cycle

We could wax on and on about all the nice things people have said about us. We could talk about the change we’ve effected on people’s businesses, the impact our book has had on leader’s lives, the life-changing revelations that come as a result of our programs. But instead, we like to show you.


For several months now, we’ve been breaking down the steps of ORBiT and sharing with you Dan’s methods of adult behavior change. It’s a technique he’s polished over the years and presents in his book ORBiT: The Art and Science of Influence. There are inestimable tidbits of wisdom in ORBiT, and we’ve been proving it by providing our readers with some insight into these tips and tricks every month. Here’s a quick recap:


1.     Establish Context. Your students will be reluctant to even accept the lesson you’re trying to teach unless you establish a solid foundation by explaining the “why.”

2.     Negative Simulation. First show your students what not to do so they can identify and understand their own flaws.

3.    Positive Simulation. You’ve created a blank slate and they’re ready for absorbing new ideas and procedures—give ‘em to ‘em!

4.    Demonstration. Ask your students to prove they’ve been listening—and learning—by demonstrating their new skills.

5.     Feedback. Coach, correct or reinforce the lesson to ensure your students are reaching your (high) standards.


And now, the finale: do it again.


We know, it seems anticlimactic. There are no fireworks and no one ever actually says “a-ha.” But in the “Cycle” step you ensure, and re-ensure, and probably re-ensure again, that your student gets it. In order for that to happen, they need to practice their new skillset in the correct way. That practice comes from repeating Demonstration and Feedback.


It’s not just a matter of practice, but protection, too. If you student’s practice veers from perfect, they could end up developing habits that will be even harder to correct in the long run. Watch over them and provide the relevant feedback to make sure that doesn't happen.


Inevitably, your student will get stuck, and they’ll get frustrated. That’s why you’re there as the coach. You’re already carefully observing and critiquing their performance; now genuinely evaluate where they’re experiencing the hiccup and give them the direction to help them overcome the hurdle.


Eventually, your student won’t just be expecting your feedback, they’ll be asking for it and striving to continue to improve. And that’s how you know you’re a good coach.


Now do it again.