January 31, 2017
As I get older, wiser, more knowledgeable, more skilled ... and more impatient, ... OK, and more stroppy, I am increasingly dissatisfied with the idea of rocking up and banging out a few training courses and calling it a learning and development strategy.
It doesn't matter how good the workshop is, how dedicated and talented the facilitator is, if the learner goes back to an environment that doesn't support learning.
This means that I am increasingly interested in, increasingly fascinated by ... and OK, increasingly going on and on about, the important of creating an environment that is conducive to learning. This doesn't just mean pre-work and follow-up activities surrounding a learning event, it means support from leaders, managers, colleagues and the organisational culture that will allow for learning, sharing, growth, opportunities and all that good stuff.
In this podcast, I talk to Robin Petterd who calls it a "learning ecosystem" ... I hope you find it useful!
January 15, 2017
This isn't a podcast, it's just me making excuses for not having finished editing this month's cast ... plus, a short explanation as to why I am maybe thinking about changing the name of the podcast
November 15, 2016
Despite our best efforts, our thorough preparation, and our fantastic facilitation, sometimes training programmes don't go as well as we hope. Sometimes people turn up with quite different expectations of what the event is all about, or they feel like political prisoners who have been coerced into attending by managerial pressure, or perhaps they are seeking to spend a day playing with their phone instead of working!
In this podcast Sunita Sehmi talks about her approach of engaging before, during and after the programme to ensure that the event is as successful as possible for the organisation and for the individuals who attend.
October 15, 2016
Hi I'm John, and I'm biased.
I am not the only one. You are too.
fact all human beings are born with a set of biases and mental
shortcuts that help us survive and deal with the world around us.
the past such biases were vital to survival. We didn't need to worry
about being fair and inclusive when we were living in caves; we were
more concerned with finding the next woolly mammoth and avoiding being
eaten by lions. Issues such as creating a diverse community were way
down our priority list.
Times have changed. Now we live and work
in a multicultural global environment and need to broaden our vision
beyond our own narrow bias-filled perspectives. This isn't easy, and in
fact a lot of biases will persist even if you are aware of them and
intellectually believe they are wrong ... but we can only manage what
we're aware of, and in this podcast we discuss what unconscious bias is
and how as learning and development professionals we can improve our
understanding of our own biases in order to improve our performance.
September 15, 2016
I have found SDI (Strengths Deployment Inventory) to be a really
valuable tool in leadership development, despite my being a skeptical
curmudgeon about most of these workplace psychometric tools.
convinced me was partly personal - I felt it offered valuable insight
into my own self (not a pretty sight) - but also because of the impact
I've seen it have within the training room. I've used it mainly for
leadership development, so that's my main experience, and I've seen many
people (not everyone) find it really useful in not only raising
self-awareness, but more importantly giving them a roadmap for strengths
development that remains true to their authentic self.
podcast Simon Gallon talks through the basic theory and its wider
application within L&D, in particular in teambuilding and leadership
It's another long one, but it's good stuff.
August 31, 2016
I've never been a big fan of SMART objectives. I accept there is
wisdom in the acronym, but I think the process tends to eclipse the most
important things about performance objectives: they should provide
clarity, challenge and motivation, and when delivered they should add
value to the organisation.
I made this point in a previous podcast (The secrets of accelerated learning: what's your objective? with Krystyna Gadd) and was contacted by Garry Platt who disagreed with some of what I said and wanted to mount a defence of SMART.
that's what this is ... an extra podcast challenging some of the
content of the previous one, with a screeching parrot in the background.
August 16, 2016
A few months ago we chatted with Krystyna Gadd about her Five Secrets of Accelerated Learning,
and in this podcast we drill down into the first and most important of
those: writing learning objectives that link to the business strategy
and the objectives of the learners.
Apologies that it's a bit long, but when you get talking about this sort of thing it can be hard to stop!
July 15, 2016
In this episode of the Trainer Tools podcast, I welcome back Garry
Platt to continue discussions on his specialist subject: Transactional
Transactional Analysis, or TA, is a theory of how humans
interact with each other - its main application being to help
understand human behaviour and communication: each interaction between
people being called a "transaction". It was developed by Canadian
psychiatrist Eric Berne and has been a tool in the trainer and coach
toolbox for many years in helping us understand ourselves and our own
interpersonal behaviours, but also understand those of others.
In this episode Garry talks about "Transaction", and this builds on the first podcast "Transactional Analysis for trainers (part one): understanding ego states" that you should check out before listening to this.
July 1, 2016
It's been a while since we did a short episode and I've had this one
in the can for a while, so I thought I'd edit it up and put it out.
this episode, I welcome back Seema Sarawgi who talks about a simple way
to split larger groups into smaller sub-groups for activities. There
are lots of ways to do this that are more interesting than saying "1, 2,
3" that can be fun and energising, can break down barriers and can lead
into content or fit with teambuilding themes.
June 15, 2016
The life of a training facilitator is not as glamorous as it might seem to the casual observer.
a lot of travel, but that just means a lot of time in airports or stuck
on long and boring motorways. L&D professionals don't typically
travel in hot air balloons with personal menservants called Passepartout
- the budgets rarely stretch that far.
It's not just the solitude
of travel, it's the loneliness of being in a group of learners in a
workshop, but needing to keep distant from them. We encourage social
learning and network building, but we're the guide on the side not
another member of the gang.
It doesn't stop there!
we're associated with change, and change is sometimes bad news, at least
for some of the people ... and even if not, we're in the business of
challenging people, pushing them out of their comfort zones, perhaps
even asking difficult questions that make people think. We might even
cause all sorts of trouble by demanding manager involvement or by
challenging cultural aspects that might be getting in the way of
Claire Simmons is an expert in offering career advice - and not just how to make your CV look nice. Her organisation (NewFuture.me) works with people through the emotional side of career change, redundancy, and picking the right options for the future.
this podcast she talks through her approach and how we, as L&D
professionals, can apply the same techniques to help look after