How do we get more creative in training design?

Late last summer, I had the opportunity to have dinner with authors Karl Kapp, Rance Greene, Robyn Defelice. During dinner, the conversation turned to training industry conferences, specifically the observation that whether you attend a conference put on by the Learning Guild, ATD, Training Magazine or any other talent development organization, the format is generally the same.

I posed the question to the group: “Well, how would you do things differently if you were organizing a conference? What would a different format even look like?”

Everyone around the table mulled that over for a moment. Honestly, a conference was a conference, and I didn’t really have any bright ideas on how the standard format could be improved.

Having dinner with people like this is exactly how we get more creative in our training design.

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Key Components of a Training Lesson Plan

One of my most popular blog posts ever was the one in which I shared a free training lesson plan template. It was so popular that it made me think that a tool like Soapbox, an online tool that basically puts a training lesson plan together for you in a matter of minutes, would be something the world would be interested in.

If you have about 10 minutes or so and want to hear what should go into a training lesson plan, give this week’s podcast a listen.

And if you have an extra 5 seconds, I’d love your response to the following survey question (I’m genuinely curious about who’s been listening to my podcasts lately). Thank you in advance for listening (and for giving me some idea of what your role is)!!

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Learning objectives aren’t just a serious (and mostly boring) version of a Mad Lib

“Learning objectives” have been on my mind a lot lately.

In a team meeting last Friday, our entire team dove head-first into a conversation about crafting and wordsmithing learning objectives for one of our colleague’s projects. Then earlier this week, I released a short podcast on learning objectives – what they are and how to write them for best learning results.

I’ve also been in a lot of training sessions that spend time focusing on learning objectives, and one comment I hear from time to time is: “Just google ‘Bloom’s Taxonomy’ and pick a verb!'”

It’s not always that simple.

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What is Adult Learning?

Have you ever put together a really good training program and then wondered what made it so good? What was it about your training program that you wish you could bottle and pour out into your next training program, and the training program after that?

Having a solid foundation on the principles that can make your training programs consistently effective is one of the most fundamental things you can do as someone in the field of learning.

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Happy (Belated) National Trivia Day!

I found out that January 4 is National Trivia Day.

To kick off 2022 and commemorate such a special day, here is a set of seven training-related questions that range from kind of easy to super nerdy. As you take a look at some of these questions, feel free to drop additional nerdy training trivia into the comment section and see if you can stump me!

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The One Word Resolution (2022 Edition)

Dating back to January 2013, I’ve made a one-word resolution as my final blog post of the year. It’s something I read about from another blogger and I really liked the concept – to set an intention which I will think about constantly through the next year.

As a learning professional who is also a small business owner, author, blogger, father and friend, my one-word resolution always helps me in my L&D career, but this is a post that goes beyond that one dimension of my life. If you think that setting an intention for the next year would be helpful in your work and/or personal life, I invite you to adopt the tradition.

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8 Highly Successful L&D Professionals Share Their Trainers’ Holiday Wishlist Items and New Years Resolutions

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to participate in ATD’s Core 4 conference in Nashville, TN. I used the opportunity to pull together a handful of conference speakers to just have a fun conversation about what is on their holiday wishlist as well as what their 2022 New Year’s Resolution would be if they were only allowed to use one word to set their resolution.

Today’s podcast is a little less traditional than the 1:1 interviews you may have grown accustomed to on the Train Like You Listen podcast, but I hope you’ll indulge us as we begin to experiment with new formats. Enjoy listening to some wisdom from Sharon Wingron, Cindy Huggett, Kassy LaBorie, Cara North, Tim Slade, Shannon Tipton, Myra Roldan and Betty Dannewitz.

This will be our final podcast in 2021, and we hope you’ll join us in 2022 as we bring a bunch of new ideas and continue to experiment with new formats!!

Happy holidays!!

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How do you put yourself into the shoes of your learners?

This past fall I had an opportunity to coach my son’s 6th grade school soccer team.

Seattle CYO 6th Grade Boys 2nd Place Team: The St. Joseph Jaguars

I’ve never played organized soccer, but I’ve watched plenty of soccer on tv and we’ve gone to a number of Seattle Sounders games, so I felt like I (kind of) knew what I was doing. I’d run drills in practice and bark orders from the sidelines during the games. I’d pump my fist when we’d score and I’d rub my already thinning hair off my head when the kids would mishandle a pass or lose their assignment on defense.

During our final practice of the season, I organized a Kids vs. Parents soccer game.

Suddenly I realized that cleanly handling a pass (when hell-bent 6th grade boys are running at you full speed) or finding your assignment on defense (when wily, skilled soccer players are slipping into open space that I didn’t even know existed and I’m desperately trying to catch my breath) was a lot harder than it looked on tv or from the stands or while comfortably coaching on the sidelines.

As I hunched over, hands on my knees, trying to catch my breath, dreading how sore I was going to be in the morning, I began to wonder: how often do I do the same thing when I create training programs? How often do I fail to put myself in the shoes of my learners as I’m crafting activities that need to be relevant to their context?

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