May 31, 2018
We learn new skills through repetition.
When we repeat actions with the intention of getting better, we call this practice.
It works, but it's laborious, and without guidance can lead to bad habits, poor technique, and - most often - failure. That means lower confidence, lower performance, and self-limiting beliefs.
As learning professionals we can improve the effectiveness of this process by providing the right knowledge and structure, and then through coaching as skills are practised, reflected upon, and new mental models developed.
The problem now is that it's not realistic to scale this level of support for a whole organisation.
This is where technology comes in.
Dr Doug Seifert and the team at Syandus are leaders in immersive learning technology. This is about using AI to scale up the practice-plus-coaching model at a fraction of the cost of getting real people to do it.
In this podcast I talk to Doug about how it works.
April 30, 2018
Let me be honest, I am biased. I hate smartphones in the training room.
If I deliver a learning event, I am trying to create a space where learning can happen safely. It's social, it's inclusive, it's active, it's fun, it is - I hope - challenging and valuable (I hope so, because it's costly!) ... and this requires a level of participation and engagement from the learners, and - because we're people in the same space - a level of courtesy ... but then I'm not one of the Millennial types, so what do I know.
Paul Levy argues that today's youngsters have (or may have) a new skill set and that all the assumptions I packed into the above paragraph may be wrong. He says we should be open to the idea of embracing smartphones in the learning space and using them to enhance and share the learning.
I'm not convinced ... what do you think?
March 31, 2018
Garry is back, this time to talk about his approach to using competences in learning and development.
I would guess that competences are not used that much in your organisation, and if they are, they are only dragged out for performance reviews and little else. Even then, if my experience is anything to go by, they probably don't really drive workplace behaviour or performance improvement, and maybe they feel more like a tick-box exercise that HR make you do.
It needn't be thus.
Competences can be really useful! Well written ones, with good descriptors of effective and ineffective behaviours, can be a great guide for superior performance and an invaluable tool in learning needs analyses and learning design.
February 28, 2018
In this podcast, I continue discussing the "Five Secrets of Accelerated Learning" with Krystyna Gadd.
We're up to the fourth secret which is about the importance of the environment. This isn't just the physical environment, but also the social and emotional environments.
February 3, 2018
In this podcast I talk to Sunita Sehmi about being an inclusive facilitator, and also about how we can deal with sensitive topics like diversity, both as facilitators but also as a learning topic in itself.
November 30, 2017
One of my favourite conversations for a while was with beer-lover and influence expert Alex Swallow.
Influence is a perennial topic in the professional world, and most of us are in roles where we not only need to help others be influential, but we need to be influential ourselves.
In this podcast, I ramble on to Alex Swallow about what makes people influential, what we can do to be more influential and what we can do in workshops about influence to make them more meaningful.
October 31, 2017
Paul said he wanted to talk about "involution". I had no idea what he meant, but I was willing to along with it because Paul Levy tends to have interesting things to talk about.
Involution means the opposite of evolution. If evolution is about the fittest surviving, about decisions being taken by those who show up, about rewarding winners, then involution is about taking the time to look at those ideas and content that didn't make it, those people who aren't there ... and reflecting on what that tells us and what value we can get from them.
It's a useful technique in brainstorming in particular, but also in the facilitation of meetings and decision making, as well as part of "the humble facilitator's" approach to training and other learning workshops.
September 30, 2017
A lot of learning and development content is generic off-the-shelf stuff, built on shaky foundations and of variable value.
Many mainstay models and theories that pepper workplace learning are not robust, not subject to the rigours of research and peer critique, and often not supported by evidence. This doesn't mean they're useless: they're not. They have pragmatic value in that they work sufficiently well to survive and are often good conversation starters, but if we want the L&D business to be a serious profession, having a more scientific approach to research and the development of theories and models would be a good thing to develop.
In this episode of the Trainer Tools podcast I talk to Dr Adam Le Nevez about how we might apply academic rigour to the world of L&D.
September 2, 2017
This is from 2015 too, and a deceptively useful model for having skillful conversations in facilitated sessions, coaching or even real life!
In this Trainer Tools Essentials episode, I talk to Catherine Thomson about David Kantor's theory of Structural Dynamics. In the podcast, Catherine explains how this theory of communication is applied to conversations in training and coaching.
July 15, 2017
The Essentials Mix are those TT podcasts that have had the biggest impact on me over the years, the ones I've learnt the most from and become a better L&D professional. In this one (with a bit of director's commentary breaking in), Paul Levy talks about the facilitator's role in challenging mediocrity (i.e. anything less than potential), even at the expense of becoming unpopular!