An Easy Form of Low-cost, Immediately Applicable Team Development

A few weeks ago, a former colleague emailed me this note:

Today I introduced your book to my ID team at work and will be running through the exercises to define how we can advance the company’s training modalities.  Just want to say thank you for creating this valuable resource and for building an intuitive website that centralizes various resources along with the related podcast episodes. 

This has been helpful for some of our trainers who are really the department SMEs and for our instructional designers who are learning to incorporate different training elements in their projects.  Your book is a definite win for the team!

While I’m always happy to receive positive feedback from someone who has read my book, I was curious to hear a little more about her team book club, how they went about organizing it, and what specifically had changed. Last week I had an opportunity to get some answers from Dustin Cole, Carlos Merlo and Jessica Bailey, all people who are responsible for training at Unifi.

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Mentoring: What is it and how is it different from coaching?

I recently had the pleasure of talking with Wendy Axelrod, who is an executive coach, mentor coach and author of a handful of books around mentoring. She shared her thoughts on what mentoring is, how it’s different from coaching, whether it’s appropriate for someone to mentor someone who is older or more experienced than them and what an organization may want to consider if they’re thinking of starting a mentoring program.

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Benefits of Getting Involved With Your Local ATD Chapter

About 10 years or so ago, I decided to join my local ATD chapter so that I could connect with other training professionals in the Seattle area. Bit by bit, I grew more involved. I’d attend a monthly member meeting/workshop before work. I’d attend their conference. Eventually I had an opportunity to present at the local ATD conference, and later I began to volunteer. Through my local ATD connections, I’ve found new friends and I’ve also cultivated relationships that have led to training projects.

Recently, I had the chance to speak with Sarah Schillen (president of ATD Puget Sound in Seattle) and Gwen Navarrete Klapperich (president of ATD Hawaii) to hear their thoughts on the value of getting more involved in local ATD chapters. Give it a listen for their thoughts on the benefits of getting involved in a local ATD chapter… stay to the end to hear them go head-to-head in a tightly contested match of training trivia!

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L&D Beach Reads: 2022 Edition

We’re smack in the midst of summer (here in the US, anyway) – a time when many folks take off from work and find relaxing spots. For some it’s the beach, for others it’s the mountains, still others it’s a screened in porch, listening to the rain. Wherever this summer may take you, if you’re looking for a few books to pack away, you actually won’t find them in this week’s podcast.

That’s because I may offer some thoughts on five new L&D books, only one of them is actually in print at the time of today’s podcast (the others will be released each month, beginning in September, that’s how new this list of book recommendations is!).

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Have FOMO after seeing everyone’s posts about ATD ICE last week?

I gotta admit, I missed being at ATD ICE in Orlando last week. The L&D community truly is the community in which I feel most at home, and the energy I feel when I’m at an industry conference is unparalleled.

That said, there are other ways to take our skill set and raise the bar on our craft to the next level. In this week’s podcast, I spend a little time talking about why we should constantly be looking to raise our own bar, and several specific ways we can improve even if we can’t get to a big industry event.

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Know something? Say something!

I’d bet a gazillion dollars that every single person who is reading today’s blog post has something they could share with the rest of the world that would help other people do something new or differently or better.

I also bet that a few people who are reading this today have written a blog post or presented at a conference. A huge thank you to those who have. That’s a big way of how I’ve gotten to where I am today. I began just reading TD magazine cover to cover every month.

In today’s podcast, I share some thoughts about what may make for good content to share, why you might want to share it even if you don’t think anyone else would be interested, and where you might be able to share your thoughts, ideas, discoveries and practices.

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5 Reasons L&D People Should Be Listening To Industry-specific Podcasts

All of us have “clients” – people who ask us to help them develop learning programs. Some of our clients are internal to our organizations. Some of us are contractors whose clients are external to our organizations. Just about all of us develop learning programs for clients who are not in the training industry. We work or partner with human resources or finance or tech or early childhood development or construction or… the list goes on.

While we should be at the top of our game when it comes to the most current trends, research and best practices in learning design, we should also have a decent understanding of the industry in which we develop learning programs.

Here are five reasons I think it’s essential for us to spend some time listening to industry-specific podcasts:

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Why it’s good to have L&D friends outside of your own organization

How many people do you talk with about learning and development outside of your colleagues and co-workers in your organization?

Recently, my friend Betty Dannewitz and I had a chance to sit down and discuss the importance of having “friends” across the L&D landscape, especially people outside of our own organizations, with whom we can talk, brainstorm ideas, collaborate or just plain nerd out.

If you’re not sure where to find people outside of your organization, social media such as LinkedIn or Twitter could be a good place to start. Attending a local ATD chapter event could also be a way to begin connecting with other L&D professionals in your area. Want more ideas? Give this week’s podcast a listen!

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What’s the right formula when working with SMEs on training?

“How do we get subject matter experts (SMEs) to be better trainers?”

It’s a question I hear often, especially in light of the recent presentations I’ve been doing on the concept of radioactive elements, which comes from my book What’s Your Formula?

Before I dive more deeply into SMEs, I want to remind everyone what “radioactive elements” are. Radioactive elements are components of training that can be very powerful, but they can also be very dangerous or even harmful if they’re not used very well. As you can see from the image below, these elements include some of the most commonly used pieces for training today: lecture, PowerPoint, SMEs, handouts, smile sheets (level 1 evaluation forms), icebreakers, elearning, augmented reality, role play, games and data.

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