Writing an educational book or creating a training program cannot be about you and what you want to say. It must be about the recipient and what they need to understand and do. Otherwise, it deservingly falls on deaf ears.

I wrote two books, published several courses online and in college classrooms, and developed countless private trainings. The A-E-E principle is vital to those being valuable to and loved by the recipients.

A-E-E refers to Adherence, Effectiveness, and Efficiency. All three are mandatory for successfully contributing to others.

Adherence to action

Adherence translates to “will the recipient follow along and apply what I’m sharing”. We need to share what the recipient needs to know but ensure it is both clear and palatable.

If they don’t clearly understand what you are sharing or why it is important, you can’t expect them to follow through with action. Their time and energy are too important to waste. There are too many alternatives vying for that attention, whether it be constructive, destructive, or indifferent.

If they find what you are sharing unpalatable — boring, irrelevant, unrewarding — they won’t act. Remember you are asking for finite and valuable resources: time and energy.

Fortunately, adherence self-perpetuates. Instill it early to continue it later on. Spark adherence regularly. Part of your role is helping to build momentum.

Effectiveness of actions

Effectiveness translates to “will the recipient’s actions provide the desired result”. If you are successful in gaining adherence, you will lose it before the next request for it if you do not successfully deliver.

Results do not need to be overnight successes and creating instant millionaires. Results do need to show reasonable potential and sensible intention. Further, we are continually more attuned to instant gratification.

You likely begin with effectiveness in mind. What’s most important to remember is it’s not just the final result, but the periodic milestones.

Efficiency towards results

Efficiency translates to “will the goal be achieved in a timely manner”. It is fair to assume the recipient will stretch themselves, giving a bit more time and energy than they may typically allow, if you are trusted. Trust builds each time you prove the actions you suggest do provide meaningful results. It diminishes when the opposite is experienced.

It is also honest to admit all humans enjoy quick achievements, despite the benefits of moving slowly. When you can streamline results, do it.

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You should not use speed (efficiency) at the sacrifice of results (effectiveness). However, you do need to balance the two to maintain momentum, which ensures ongoing efforts (adherence). The concepts may be addressed separately but work best in tandem.

In practice, state the final goal at the outset — what should the recipient leave with? Define your materials to support them achieving their goals, doing so efficiently, and accomplishing this through their ongoing adherence to the structure you provide. Sprinkle meaningful milestones along the way. Pay attention to your trust-balance and calibrate accordingly.

Commit to your audience that if they adhere to the process, the process will be effective, and they will efficiently apply the learnings.