An Introduction to the
EDGE Method
A Method for Training Future Leaders!
EDGE is an effective process for
Training, Teaching or Leading, that describes
two way communication between
the trainer and the learner.
Exploring EDGE
 Demonstrate
 Guide
 Enable
Where did EDGE come from?
Wood Badge for the 21st Century – about 10 years ago
National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) – about 7 years ago
January 2011
Tenderfoot Requirement
4.c. Using the EDGE method, teach another person how to tie the square knot.
Life Requirement
6. While a Star Scout, use the EDGE method to teach a younger Scout the skills from ONE
of the following seven choices, so that he is prepared to pass those requirements
to his unit leader's satisfaction.
a. Second Class - 7a and 7c (first aid)
b. Second Class - 1a (outdoor skills)
c. Second Class - 3c, 3d, 3e, and 3
d. First Class - 8a, 8b, 8c, and 8d (first aid)
e. First Class - 1, 7a, and 7b (outdoor skills)
f. First Class - 4a, 4b, and 4d (cooking/camping)
g. Three requirements from one of the Eagle-required
merit badges, as approved by your unit leader.
Where did EDGE come from?
Further… EDGE is a tool for modeling the Four Stages
of Teaching or Leading
The Four stages of Team Development
Stages of Team Development
EDGE Centers on the concept that Learners and
Teams all go through Four Distinct Stages of
Example Using EDGE – the Bowline
Example Using EDGE – the Bowline
is Associated with:
High enthusiasm,
Low skills
Example Using EDGE – the Bowline
is Associated with:
Low enthusiasm,
Low skills
Example Using EDGE – the Bowline
is Associated with:
Rising enthusiasm,
Growing skills
Example Using EDGE – the Bowline
is Associated with:
High enthusiasm,
High skills
“What is EDGE™?”
The key to making EDGE™ work is to use it for all
teaching opportunities. Make it a habit.
1. Explain—The Trainer/Leader explains how something
is done.
An effective leader will do lots of careful explaining to learners
understand exactly what to do and how to do it.
1. Demonstrate—After the Trainer/Leader explains, the
trainer demonstrates while explaining again.
2. Guide—The learner tries the skill while the trainer
guides him through it.
3. Enable—The trainee works on his own under the
watchful eye of the trainer. The trainer’s role in this
step is to remove any obstacles to success, which
enables the learner to succeed.
Why Is Explaining An Important Part Of
It clarifies the subject
What Is The Importance Of Demonstrating A
It allows the learner to see as well as hear
What Is The Purpose Of Guiding?
It allows learning by doing and shows depth of
Why Is Enabling Important?
It allows learner to use and repeat skills
Stages of Team Development
Low skill but high enthusiasm
Excited about learning the skill
Doesn't yet know how to perform the skill
The learner starts to
be discouraged
Skill level is still low
Because the learner
now knows how much
work is involved,
enthusiasm is low
The learner makes advances in skill through
hard work
As skill level rises so does enthusiasm
The learner has mastered the skill
Enthusiasm is high
The learner is now able to teach another the
Stages of Team Development
Team Stage
Development Phase
High enthusiasm,
Low skills
Low enthusiasm,
Leadership Behavior
That Is Best for That Stage
Low skills
Rising enthusiasm,
Growing skills
High enthusiasm,
high skills
When a team starts to learn a new skill
or work toward a new goal, it will go
back to the Forming stage.
1. It starts with Explain, which is typically a
trainer led activity.
2. Next, the trainer Demonstrates the concept
or skill correctly so the learner has a clear
image in his or her mind of what success
looks like.
3. Then, the learner gets fully engaged by
giving it a go under the watchful eye of the
trainer, who provides instant feedback to
Guide him or her toward success.
4. Lastly, the trainer Enables the learner—
giving over control and supporting the
learner by giving him or her a chance to fly
solo. This means that the learner can
successfully use the new knowledge and
That’s an overview of the EDGE model, a
training model developed originally to
standardize the way youth leaders transfer
(teach) a skill in Scouting. Most of the syllabi
we are currently using are not written in the
EDGE model. NYLT is the exception. EDGE
has considerable reapplication in training,
Developing Communication Skills is
Fundamental to the EDGE Method
Communication Skills
Teaching is communicating information from
one person or group to another
What communication skills have I been using?
Neutral Position
Neutral Position (cont.)
Stand straight and tall, but not so much that it
gets uncomfortable.
Let arms hang freely by your side letting them
know that participation is welcome.
“Neutral Position is a ‘ready’ position that is
comfortable for the speaker and does not draw
undo attention”
Feet (cont.)
Do not pace or rock. Each movement should
have a purpose.
If you notice that your listeners are not fully
engaged, you can move toward them to regain
their attention.
* Move your entire arm. Not just the elbow
* Large gestures rather than small tight ones
* Do not Jam hands in pockets, keep them out
where they can be used
* Open handed gestures invite
* Constant arm movement can be distracting.
Mouth/Voice, cont.
• Learners should be able to hear without straining.
Tip: Speak so someone standing behind the last learner in the room can hear.
• Adjust to accommodate the room’s acoustics.
Tip: Move the tables closer to you or use a microphone.
• Tone should be confident, enthusiastic, and pleasant, but never sarcastic.
Remember: A Scout is friendly, courteous, and kind.
• Speed is important. Too fast reduces effectiveness, too slow is boring.
Tip: Ask a co-trainer to signal you to go faster or slower.
• Be clear, and avoid slang, acronyms, and filler words.
Tip: Ask a co-trainer to give you feedback
Eyes, cont.
•Be aware of all events in the room. Make a conscious choice
to act on or ignore what you see.
Tip: Act to assure that most learners are not distracted from the learning.
• Establish eye contact with everyone.
Tip: Look at a learner for the length of one sentence, then look at another learner.
• Interpret what you see from eye contact, and decide any action.
Tip: If they are squirming, give them a break.
Ears, cont.
•Listen with the intent to understand, not with the intent to reply.
Tip: Summarize and repeat back the question before answering to confirm your
• Be aware of the learners’ audible signals— judge whether or not to respond.
Tip: Assure that most learners are not distracted from learning.
• Be comfortable with silence—not talking opens the door for others to participate.
Tip: Many adults take three to five seconds to think of an answer.
Teens typically take seven to 12 seconds.
Good Posture is •
• Remember that to truly master a skill requires a
lot of practice
• EDGE is helpful whenever you are in either a
teaching or a leadership position
• EDGE–(Explaining,Demonstrating, Guiding,
Enabling) –defines approaches useful for
different stages in teamdevelopment.