Laurel and Associates, Ltd.

Author Archives : Deborah

Tip #684: Engagement or Redirection?

“Engagement may have been optional in the past, but it’s pretty much the whole game today.” Gary Hamel

I recently read about a Forrester Research report on employee engagement (or the lack thereof). It was based on round-table discussions with 40 senior managers from different companies.

The report noted that constant work and communication are two keys to maintaining employee engagement. However, the report also advised employers to “minimize the increased pressure at work.”

I assume that the basis for the recommendation for constant work is the idea that employees who are always busy either are engaged or have no time to become disengaged.

I do wonder at the type of constant work the polled managers had in mind. … Read the rest

Tip #683: Learning or Performance?

“The most effective learning in the new world of work occurs when engaged individuals work out loud and share their knowledge. Training and education will remain as inputs, but minor ones. Learning through experience will be essential, a key part of the 70 and 20 in the 70:20:10 model.”  Harold Jarch

I have always told the participants in train-the-trainer classes that training is about the learner, not the instructor. But what I have neglected to say is that training is ultimately about performance, not just skill acquisition.

In their book: 702010 Towards 100% Performance, Jos Arets, Charles Jennings and Vivian Heijnen point out that there are significant differences between learning and performance paradigms

Learning Paradigm

70:20:10 Paradigm

Focus on
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Tip #682: Is Emotional Intelligence Always Positive?

On August 1, 2017, Posted by , In brain research, By , , With Comments Off on Tip #682: Is Emotional Intelligence Always Positive?

“There is no separation of mind and emotions; emotions, thinking, and learning are all linked.”  Eric Jensen

We have read about, learned about, and applied emotional intelligence in a variety of ways since Daniel Goleman first popularized it in 1995.

Wikipedia defines emotional intelligence as: “the capability of individuals to recognize their own and other people’s emotions, discern between different feelings and label them appropriately, use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior, and manage and/or adjust emotions to adapt to environments or achieve one’s goals.”

Regardless of the model (and there are several), when we think about emotional intelligence we see it as a positive combination of skills and characteristics.

But what if “the capability of individuals to Read the rest

Tip #681:  Critical Thinking

On July 21, 2017, Posted by , In learning, By , With Comments Off on Tip #681:  Critical Thinking

“The essence of the independent mind lies not in what it thinks, but in how it thinks.” Christopher Hitchens

What if you were asked the question (with thanks to Tina Ahlgrim): “If your world only used 20 words, what would they be?”

How would you even begin to think of an answer?

Let’s see if critical thinking can help.

According to The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools by Richard Paul and Linda Elder, a well cultivated critical thinker does four specific things. We will take each in turn to see if it leads us to our twenty questions.

  1. “Raises vital questions and problems, formulating them clearly and precisely.”

What vital questions can we ask ourselves? How about:… Read the rest

Tip #680: Creative Ways to Check for Retention

On July 18, 2017, Posted by , In learning activities, By ,, , With Comments Off on Tip #680: Creative Ways to Check for Retention

“Never, ever underestimate the importance of having fun.” Randy Pausch

I’ve been designing and delivering training for many years- and I am constantly surprised and delighted at the creative learning activities participants in train-the-trainer programs design! This is one of the primary perks of participant-centered learning programs, because the facilitator is always learning new information, perspectives and techniques from the participants!

Here are three retention-checking learning activities that I’ve never seen before that were both effective and a lot of fun. All three of the activities also incorporate elements of challenge and competition, which adult learners appreciate.

One of the activities was designed by a participant in a Professional Trainers Certificate program in Madison, Wisconsin, and the other two activities … Read the rest

Tip #679: There are No Dry Topics

On July 11, 2017, Posted by , In learning activities,Uncategorized, By ,, , With Comments Off on Tip #679: There are No Dry Topics

“I can excuse everything but boredom. Boring people don’t have to stay that way.” Hedy Lamarr

There are no dry topics, just dry training.

If you don’t believe me, consider these two creative participant-centered learning activities that replace the lecture typically used for teaching rules and benefits.

These activities were designed and facilitated during the Professional Trainers’ Certificate program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Continuing Studies.

Note: For both activities, the participants are seated five to a table. The activities work best if there is an even number of participants and no more than 5 content items.

Using art to teach rules and test retention. (With thanks to James Phetteplace)

  1. Provide a list of the rules.
  2. Have each participant
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