How can everyone on your team learn from one person’s professional development experience?

On Thursday, I shared a short story about a recent team meeting that was nothing short of magical. One of my colleagues, Erin Clarke, had recently attended a virtual conference and shared a few of her take-aways with the rest of our team. As she shared, the team grew more curious about how the rest of us could apply some of the things Erin was sharing.

Perhaps you just returned from ATD’s International Conference and Expo. Perhaps you or someone on your team attended a virtual conference, or even a webinar. During today’s podcast, Erin and I talked a little more about how she was able to inspire the entire team with both curiosity and the desire to try new things by sharing her own virtual conference experience.

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What are the most “radioactive” elements you can include in a training program?

The Association for Talent Development’s International Conference and Expo kicks off in earnest today, and in the final podcast of our series featuring ATD ICE speakers, my longtime friend and fellow L&D nerd (and VP of Organization Development at FORUM Credit Union in Indianapolis), Michelle Baker, fills in as our podcast interviewer to ask me some questions about my upcoming session (which will take place on Wednesday, September 1, from 8am – 9am Mountain time).

My presentation will focus on the “radioactive” elements that are often (mis)used in training programs, and how they can best be leveraged to yield maximum impact on your learners. These elements include lecture, PowerPoint, subject matter experts, handouts, smile sheets, icebreakers, elearning, augmented reality, role play, games and data.

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When technology attacks (Virtual Training Edition)

What happens if there’s some sort of technological glitch (or worse, a catastrophic freezing up of your computer) when you’re delivering a virtual session?

A few weeks ago, my colleague Lauren Wescott offered a series of virtual sessions focused on the role of a producer. A producer exists to ensure your presenter can focus wholeheartedly on presenting information and engaging the participants.

One important way a producer can do this is by helping troubleshoot issues with the technology while the facilitator focuses on delivering a high quality session. Below is a guide that may help you identify some potential issues your participants are having specifically with Zoom (we’re working on a similar job aid for other platforms).

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Computer Tips for the Learning and Development Professional

In what seems like a former life, I worked in IT departments monitoring the health of Linux servers, and keeping people’s work computers up and running. While a gratifying choice of work, I soon came to find that people are rarely happy to see the computer repair girl because it means they are about to have a frustrating day/week. I also found out I like training people to use their computer more than actually fixing it. Continue reading

Reflections on Diversity Training

With Martin Luther King Jr. day approaching, my daughter recently asked me a why we take next Monday off school to remember him. As a trainer and a parent, I typically relish in opportunities like this; moments where the learner is engaged and asking good questions. As I began to tell her all about great speeches and peaceful protests, I realized I wasn’t getting through to her. At that moment I thought about all of the diversity training I have sat through in my life and I realized this wasn’t a moment for a lecture. Continue reading

Trainer’s Fishbowl: An Inside Look at a Pilot Program that Didn’t Hit the Mark

Fishbowl

This week we had an opportunity to pilot a training program that we’ve been working on for the past two months. We were excited to unveil it before a pilot audience, especially because we had an opportunity to incorporate a board game into the module.

At the end of the pilot session, we realized that we didn’t quite hit the mark in our first draft. Yesterday, the Endurance Learning leadership team came together via Slack to debrief the experience.

Today’s post is a sort of “fish bowl”, an opportunity to take a look into the conversation that took place as we de-briefed this session.   Continue reading

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

What happens when you’re not set-up for facilitation success?

Panic

Last Thursday, I wrote about the 5 essential ingredients for a successful leadership meeting, strategic planning session or retreat.

More often than not, we’re asked to design and/or facilitate meetings in the absence of one or more of these essential ingredients. Recently, I asked two extremely experienced L&D practitioners what they’d do if they were missing some of these ingredients.  Continue reading

5 Key Elements to Effective Meeting Design

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This past weekend I had an opportunity to facilitate an executive leadership retreat with an organization’s senior staff and Board members. As I reflect on that experience, I really don’t think the meeting could have gone better. We accomplished all of our objectives. We stayed on time. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive. And there are concrete, actionable items that came out of the meeting that will impact the organization for the next five years.

Over the past several years, I’ve also facilitated strategic planning sessions and other meetings of senior staff that haven’t gone so well. Meetings have ended with a vague set of next steps. Participants have shared they felt lost at times during meetings.

As I contrasted these various experiences in my mind, I began to come up with a list of key ingredients for such facilitated meetings to be successful. Continue reading