The case for sticky notes in every training presentation

sticky-notes

I’ve been facilitating a series of 3-day train-the-trainer sessions in Uganda and Zambia over the past two weeks, working with groups of health educators to help them transform their presentation delivery from a traditional, didactic approach to a more learner-centered, interactive delivery.

On the first day, as I facilitated a variety of activities around adult learning theory and engagement strategies, the energy in the room seemed high. I asked participants to take a sticky note and write one word or phrase about how they were feeling after the first day. Responses such as “enjoyable”, “gaining a lot”, “awesome” and “this training is perfect” were submitted to me.

A funny thing happened on the second day. Continue reading

Should the development of training programs feel like work?

jumanji

It was a Tuesday afternoon in December. We had been huddled around a conference room table for two hours. The end of our scheduled time to meet had arrived and I needed to leave the office to attend another meeting. I bid farewell to the other two people in the conference room.

When I came into the office the next day, my colleague told me that she stayed in that conference room for another hour and a half, generating ideas and building the framework to overhaul our new employee orientation program. “When I thought about it,” she reflected, “it struck me that I didn’t even feel like I was at work yesterday. It was so much fun!”

It was such a simple, and at the same time powerful, observation. Why can’t we feel like we’re “not even at work” more often?   Continue reading

A New Spin on Peer Feedback Forms

feedback

Greetings from sunny Uganda! I’m on assignment this week in Kampala, where it’s Day 2 of a 3-day train-the-trainer program.

There will be a lot of practice facilitation and peer feedback today. Days like this can grow long and monotonous, with presentation after presentation, and the peer feedback process can grow stale and feel drawn-out after the first 5 or 6 presentations.

Recently, a colleague suggested I alter our peer feedback form. For this suggestion, I think he’s a genius.   Continue reading

Numbers need to be put into perspective, or they’re just sounds

numbers

At last weekend’s end-of-year celebration for my organization, a colleague got up and said a few words about one of his direct reports. As he was bestowing accolades upon her, he shared some of her accomplishments.

After he shared one data point that sounded like it could be eye popping, he wanted to emphasize his point and said: “To put that number into perspective, that is the equivalent of filling four Olympic-sized swimming pools!”   Continue reading

A tool to track 1-on-1 and self-paced training programs

Businesswoman consulting a partner

I began my instructional design career in the classroom, as a GED instructor. Later I moved into corporate training where working with groups of 20, 30, 40, 100, 250 people in a room was the norm. I thrived on the energy in the room. The more people, the merrier!

Several years ago I was asked to take on a project that involved one-on-one instruction. There was no group on whose energy I could feed. There were no opportunities for small or large group discussion… not even opportunities for a pair-share! It made me uncomfortable. In the end, I didn’t do a very good job designing the program.  Recently, I made a discovery. Continue reading

How ruthless can a learning and development professional be?

darth-vader

Happy New Year!

In my last post from 2016 I shared my one-word resolution that I’m hoping can center me as I try to make my work bigger and better in 2017: ruthless. As in: ruthless prioritization.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been asked to design several training programs in which the clients want big things achieved… and they’ve also given very limited time in which to achieve these things. My biggest challenge was to figure out how to deliver what the clients wanted while at the same time ensuring the training programs were what I’d consider to be fundamentally sound.   Continue reading