Teach Don’t Criticise

Learning Needs to be Driven at All Costs

“It is easy to dismiss and neglect training when finances are rocky and time is limited, but growth and development are crucial. Learning needs to be driven at all costs. By being creative, training doesn’t need to be expensive and can use up only as little time as needed. Creating our learning culture at Coolphase began with the simple statement; “teach, don’t criticise”, learning is now at the core our business, and we are rewarded by the benefits every day.

“Don’t mark my paper, just help me get an A” – Garry Ridge

Right now, we are working on the first annual Coolphase 101 training day. And because we don’t always take ourselves too seriously, our training will be fun and our people will have all the answers, we’ll help them get an “A” joyfully. Our training will encompass all we do as an organisation and every employee will get to experience a different discipline or field of expertise. Yes, we will lose physical resources for the day and the loss in revenue will be significant, however, the benefits from aligning skills, values and culture will be awesome”.


Teach, don’t criticise


The above is part of an article written 12 months ago which was never published. We had been trough a rough time, our morale dipped and so did our resolve. We never completed our Coolphase 101 Training Day.

The statement “Teach, don’t criticise”; however, still rings true. Mistakes are always a teaching or learning opportunity for us. If someone makes a mistake, instead of getting mad or angry, we ask the question “have we trained and communicated correctly, what could we have done differently?” We help our people get an A.

Back in the current cycle of a subdued revenue forecast due to world epidemics and government restrictions, we know that training is more crucial than ever. We’ve picked up our resolve and morale; the employment of apprentices has been maintained; our technicians continue down the path of improvement and our administration staff are finding new and exciting ways of doing things.

We still take on programs when we can, we attend free seminars where we can. Last year our service team completed an intense “Legendary Service” program with Blanchard Australia, we also undertook and worked through Patrick Lencioni’s principles from “Five Dysfunctions of a Team”. And today I am attending a virtual session with Jim Collins, organised by The Growth Faculty. I can honestly say that learning benefits us all.




Sadly, we recently lost 60 years of experience (2 employees) to a competitor. But, thankfully due to our continual commitment to training, our young staff members were able to fill that void. And in hindsight, the situation gifted us the question. Would you rather have 60 years of experience or a group of people who are about to gain 60 years of experience? I know what I would rather. And I’m excited to see what these great young people can achieve.

Challenging people with new ideas is what keeps us at our best. We constantly want to help our people improve and grow. Training is important for all of us, we love to learn and teach. Knowledge isn’t ours to keep, we must share and pass it on.

Teach, don’t criticise! – RG