Cut through the noise
You can't have the same training in half the time. You can’t. But you can have better training in half the time. Getting to better training in half the time will certainly include design choices. But better training also requires a communication strategy at the outset that sets you up to develop better solutions. My Five A’s model will get you there; and, this article will address the first of the A’s – Appreciate.
I observed this One Great Idea during a recent virtual meeting. Keep it handy to use the next time your virtual meeting gets off to a slower start than your schedule has room for.
This One Great Idea was shared with me while working with a team recently. It seamlessly blends effective meeting management with employee development.
Success is not the result of a single action. It comes from a series of decisions, choices, and actions, it comes from consistently performing well, it may grow out of messy mistakes, and it certainly sometimes gets help from happy accidents along the way. This is true in life; it is also true of meetings.
Relying on accidental success is a questionable approach—which is also true in life and meetings. Instead, embrace happy accidents when they occur, but use these questions to engineer successful meetings.
When you receive requests for the same training in half the time, I’ll suggest that you focus on the donut—not the hole (unrealistic expectations, limited resources, misguided requests, and so on). Even small shifts count when moving the finish line on these requests. Focus less on how far the line gets moved and more on moving it. This will build momentum for bigger shifts on future projects.
Do you recognize this post’s title as lyrics from Darius Ruker’s “For The First Time”? Maybe you are even in singing it in your head right now. I often sing the line to myself – mostly for the encouragement it provides me.
Personally, I want to live a life in which I have a quick and recent answer to “when was the last time you did something for the first time?” They don’t have to be grand-adventure-type answers, but they do need to provide me with new experiences, memories, or perspectives. Possibly even take me in new directions.
In preparing for a series starting this week, Staying Centered Through Conflict™, I wrote a note to the participants. Part of it read: “For me, conflict tends to arise in two categories: critical needs and inconsequential stuff. Our sessions will provide tools for managing the critical needs. The conflict that we classify as inconsequential stuff is perhaps best managed by recognizing it for what it is – annoying, a nuisance – and ignoring it. Our effort is so much better directed towards other things.”
In Same Training, Half the Time, I invite readers to expand on this excerpt from the book – a list of challenges that are driving increased demands on learning. Please share additional reasons from your experience in the comments of this post.
Once upon a time – well a month ago – I attended an open-mic storytelling event and was reminded of the staying power stories possess, the vivid imagery they can create, and how much fun they can be to listen to. We heard five stories that night and I had five unique experiences – the first story informed me, the second deeply moved me, the third motivated me, I laughed hysterically at the fourth, and was reminded of how fortunate I am by the last. That is a lot in the span of 90 minutes or so. And what is more – I remember all five stories clearly – I can see all five of them as mini-movies in my mind right now – weeks later. And that speaks to the power of stories for trainers, those who lead meetings, and – frankly – all of us.
In my work with learning and development leaders, I commonly encounter professionals working hard to enhance other employees’ skills and develop them for the future of their positions. Yet, so often, that same effort isn’t invested in preparing themselves for the future. So, beyond mastering the fundamentals of the field, what is a L&D leader to do?
Here are five ideas to achieve more by doing less based on two themes I consistently hear from learning professionals.