Applying MoveSMART® Techniques to Unfamiliar Tasks

MoveSMART® Instructor-Catalysts are often asked how MoveSMART® techniques might be used in a particular task. If you know the task because you’ve either done it or it’s a common one that’s familiar to most people, handling the questions probably won’t be all that tough.

However, It can be more difficult if you aren’t familiar with the task.

Our suggestions are:

Remember you’re trained in and knowledgeable about MoveSMART® principles (not necessarily about every possible application of MoveSMART® to an infinite number of tasks). Don’t fake an answer or make a guess. If your suggestion is impractical, you may lose valuable credibility. Especially when the person asking has much more knowledge about the task and will know what you say wouldn’t work.

The best approach is to get curious yourself and invite a discussion of how it might be applied. Admit your lack of knowledge calmly and sincerely (after all, no one can be an expert in every activity; but you are knowledgeable about underlying MoveSMART® principles.) Start with “I’m not sure about that,” and go on by inviting a “let’s figure out how that might apply” conversation.

Ask the person who originally asked the question to describe the task so you and everyone else can understand what is involved. If it would be helpful, have the person simulate the motions of doing the task. Be careful not to embarrass or put anyone on the spot.

Ask the person how they think which MoveSMART® techniques might be applied. Ultimately, these kinds of questions encourages them to work through it themselves as much as possible makes you and them more successful. You want each person to become his or her own MoveSMART® coach. If the person is stumped, invite the rest of the group to share their ideas. In fact, even if the person has lots of good ideas, ask the rest of the group for theirs to in order to involve them – and to help them think outside the training room.

If all else fails, tell the person you’ll contact him/her after the session and work with them at their job site. Sometimes that kind of hands on problem solving makes it easier to experiment and find the best ways to apply particular techniques.

If the task the person brings up an off-work task, invite them to bring in the equipment (if possible and allowed) or to have a picture or short video of the task to show you and the group. This also reinforces the message that it’s important to make real world applications of MoveSMART® methods.

We encourage you to think of tough questions as an opportunity to personally explore and grow – for you as a MoveSMART® Instructor-Catalyst and for those you’ve trained. Remind yourself to not see or react to questions as personal ego challenges. Bring the group into the process and make it a learning opportunity.

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