Twelve Weeks to Becoming the Manager of the Most Kick-ass Department in Your Company

As organization development consultants we are often tasked with creating activities or events that "move an organization forward." Clients ask us to solve problems related to communication, teamwork, poor workmanship, lack of commitment or accountability, and many other issues which stymie output and frustrate individuals. Every...

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Teaching Thinking through Changing Perspective

etsy-diy-kaleidoscope-how-tuesday-clare-mcgibbon-finalOne of the ways you can help people to improve their thinking skills is to ask them  to change their perspective on a topic. To think about it from another point of  view.  This is very easy to do in a training situation - since we have folks captive  and can ask them to try an activity in a way they are not naturally inclined to. Unfortunately, we often miss this opportunity in training and instead ask our participants  to answer a question based on their own perspective or opinion. For example, how often does your training program ask something along the lines  of: Now that you have read the case study, what are the three main factors affecting  the situation? Since people respond with their own opinion, we never tell them that they are wrong, of course (nor are they wrong), but do we ever conduct "round 2" of the questioning / debrief and ask the learners, What if you were the banker, contractor, pilot in the situation? THEN what would you say are the three most important factors? Here are two techniques for getting people to change their perspective on a topic:
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Teaching Thinking Through Debate

man at podium Remember the Debate Club in high school? It was an excellent tool to help young people to start thinking critically about various issues and honing their communication skills to be able to intelligently articulate issues. With debate season upon us in the United States, this is an excellent time to point out the thinking skills that are developed through using debate. Debate requires someone to construct an argument. That argument can be pro or against, but it must incorporate research, analysis, reasoning, and sometimes synthesis and evaluation in order to establish and substantiate one's position. Debate also requires the debater to master their content, to practice both listening and speaking skills in order to counter the opposing side, and to not only be able to verbalize but also to speak persuasively about their position. These skills are known on Bloom's Taxonomy
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Case Study: Bite-sized Instructor Led Training

telephoneWhen we think of bite-sized learning we often think of something that is self-paced, just-in-time, mobile or eLearning. We recently visited with a client that is providing bite-sized learning (10 minutes or less) delivered by live instructors. Picture this: a room of 40 trainers who sit in cubicles wearing headsets, at desks with two computer monitors. The trainees call the trainers when they are ready for their lesson. The trainees go in to a queue and any trainer can pick up the call and teach any topic thanks to a script that pops up on one screen. On the other screen they document the learner, the lesson, and the advice / next steps prescribed for that learner.
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Great Work Everyone! Here’s an Avocado for your Efforts!

Do you regularly give out candy as a reward during your F2F training sessions? Well, you're not doing your learners any favors. Instead put out piles of beans, eggs, fish, berries and, ok, dark chocolate. In this fascinating article (and quick read) by Jeremy Teitelbaum, he challenges us to think about our "tried and true" methods of delivering training and learning, using what we know from 25 years of brain research. Suggestions include:

Stop forcing people to multitask.

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You’re Probably Wondering Why I Invited You To This Training

As our newsletter subscribers well know, one of the services The Training Doctor 
provides is "Training Triage," that is, helping companies to redesign training they
already have in place, but which doesn't hit the mark, for some reason. 

One of our mortraininge recent projects highlighted one 
of the more typical situations we encounter: 
there was not much point for the trainees to be 
there. It was a three-hour class - delivered 
online - which was strictly lecture. This 
approach violated a  number of learning 
principles - both general, classroom principles, 
and more specifically, online learning principles.
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