I have been in the professional training world for over 25 years. My knowledge in this field comes from clients, colleagues, consultants, research, and especially from those participating in a training, facilitation, or coaching session.
Two mentors over the years have most strongly influenced me. One is Dr. David G. Jones, President of Sentient Systems, Inc. and founder of the Continuing Education for Public Officials program. The other is Joseph Hasenstab, President and founder of Performance Learning Systems (now PLS3rd Learning, Inc). The former, David Jones, taught me how to pull learning rather than push it; to be flexible and design on the fly.
Joe Hasenstab instilled in me the phrase, “So what?!” Whenever I would suggest what I felt was a cool activity in a training session — maybe it got people up and moving or they were able to interact with one another in a positive way, or whatever — Joe would listen politely and then ask, “So what?!” In other words, what is the point? What are they learning? Why are you doing it?
Both Joe and David stressed the tremendous importance of instructional design. A design focuses on what the person in a training session will learn. It captures what the person being coached wants to achieve. It streamlines group discussion to successful results. Training or coaching that is not relevant or useful is meaningless. Without a design to make it relevant, the training delivery, no matter how well-presented, it’s just, well, “so what?”
In this blog, I want to focus on the essentials to our every day life at work and at home. What is relevant and useful to me? How do I grab hold and tame the changes coming to me, my company, my profession? How can I deal with fleeting emotions? What does one say to that negative colleague? How can I do to get my employees to trust me? How can I build my self-confidence? And more.
With technology and information and gidgets and gadgets flowing to our computers and our psyche every day and every hour, I want to hunker down and focus on what is important about being human in this amazing world. And I want to make people smile, learn, laugh, feel good about themselves. Because without that, everything we are doing is, well, “So what?!”
I hope you join my blog and tell us what you know or seek. Rather than “so what?” we want to hear “what’s so” with you.