In professional development, in-house training is a critical component for enhancing employee skills and promoting consistency in knowledge and skills across an organization.  However, the challenge lies in designing these training sessions to be both memorable and effective. Drawing parallels from the classic narrative structure known as the “hero’s journey,” we can infuse our training programs with elements that educate, engage, and inspire.

The Essence of the Hero’s Journey

The hero’s journey, popularized by Joseph Campbell in his work “The Hero with a Thousand Faces,” outlines a universal pattern many stories follow. It represents a universal narrative arc many classic tales adhere to, symbolizing growth and transformation. Applying this structure to in-house training transforms an ordinary session into an extraordinary learning experience.

Step 1: The Call to Adventure

Initiation and Engagement: Just as the hero begins their journey by stepping into a new and unknown world, the training session should start with a clear and engaging introduction that outlines what learners will explore and achieve. Julie Dirksen, the author of “Design For How People Learn,” emphasizes the importance of sparking curiosity through unexpected facts or challenging questions to captivate the audience immediately. (Dirksen, 2016).

Step 2: Facing Challenges

Interactive Learning Experiences: As the hero faces various trials, training participants also need to tackle challenges that test their new skills. Interactive elements such as simulations, role-playing, and problem-solving activities can mirror these trials, offering practical experience and reinforcing learning.

Step 3: Revelation and Transformation

A Moment of Insight: In many stories, there is a crucial moment where the hero gains profound insight, a turning point that changes everything. In training, this can be facilitated by reflective activities where learners connect the dots between what they’ve learned and how it applies to their work.

Step 4: The Return

Application and Follow-through: Finally, just as the hero returns home with new wisdom and experiences, training participants should leave with clear, actionable items. They should understand how to apply what they’ve learned directly to their roles. Ongoing support and follow-up sessions can serve as the hero’s integration back into their old world, now transformed with new “powers” to apply their learning effectively.

By framing in-house training within the context of the hero’s journey, organizations can create a more engaging and memorable learning experience. Ultimately, it’s about more than just training; it’s about embarking on an epic journey of learning and transformation.

Doru Lupeanu

Marketing Director @KnowledgeOne. Strategist. Movie scriptwriter. Transylvanian. Fanatic anime consumer.