Hmmm. Maybe it is actually a training problem.

Riding a Bike

Written by: Heather Snyder

Like many parents before me, I have spent several hours running next to my daughter shouting words of encouragement as I try to teach her to ride a bike. We have spent a lot of time preparing for this goal. We have practiced on tricycles, strider bikes, and even training wheels. There are several techniques to teaching a child to ride a bike, as I have learned by scouring the internet for less frustrating ways to train her in this rite of passage.

This summer’s goal is to finally ride on two wheels, although I have forgotten if it is her goal or mine at this point. As we meander up and down my sidewalk, I reach deep into my bag of tricks to say the right words, demonstrate techniques on my own bike, show her the right picture or video on my phone, or have her visualize herself successfully riding to the end of the road.   Continue reading

Ask not what the L&D community can do for you…


Last week, I was flattered to receive a notification on LinkedIn that I had been mentioned in this post from Zsolt Olah.

The conversation in Zsolt’s post revolved around who to follow – both inside and outside of the L&D space – in order to become a better practitioner. Following the various people he mentioned in his post is an important step in anyone’s journey to being a more perfect presenter, trainer or instructional designer.

Sometimes, however, I wonder if: “Who should I be following” is the right question.   Continue reading

Sometimes even the most powerful, seemingly stand-alone experiences need some facilitation.

I visited the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL, last Wednesday.


In the Lyft ride from the church to a business meeting, I was so overcome with emotion that I had to tell myself aloud: “Get it together, Washburn.” Twice.

Something happened in the 30 minutes between the time I started taking a few photos and the time I hopped into the Lyft that was a good reminder of the important role of a training facilitator during even the most powerful learning experiences.  Continue reading

After a training session, are your learners left to sink or swim? (Here’s a free form to help with post-training support)


I spent this past weekend at my daughter’s swim meet in Wenatchee, WA (which is the Apple Capital of the World!).

It was one of the first meets I’ve been able to attend. After her first race, I saw her grab her towel and walk toward where I was sitting in the bleachers. I wasn’t sure she knew exactly where I was sitting, so I stood up and made my way toward the pool deck. Then she stopped. It dawned on me she wasn’t walking to meet me.

What she did is what every person who attends a training program or professional development session should be doing.   Continue reading

Getting a lot done with a small L&D team (aka: Inspiration from the “Twilight” series)


Last week I had a chance to talk with a friend who’s been looking for new ways to stay on top of all of the L&D projects she’s been asked to work on. She works on a very small L&D team (and there’s currently a key vacancy) and she’s trying to keep the ship afloat. She’s concerned that if she says “no” (or at least “not now”)  to too many projects that the organization may begin to have second thoughts about the value of having an L&D team at all.

When she finished sharing her challenges with me, I thought for a moment, and then a thought struck me. “Have you ever seen any of the ‘Twilight‘ movies?”   Continue reading

The Mystery of the Mentor

In my first formal training position, I had the good fortune of working for a boss who had a strong presence, knew how to navigate organizational politics, and could teach me a thing or two about learning and development.

I was only in that position for six or seven months, then both my boss and I left the company – he left for grad school in Australia and I left to move across country. We still keep in touch, and I’m glad we have. I still value his insights.

I feel lucky that I stumbled into such a situation. What about people who have never had an opportunity to engage with someone who could turn into a mentor? My colleague, Tim Waxenfelter, recently had some thoughts about the importance of finding a mentor and is sharing them in today’s Train Like A Champion post: Continue reading