Laurel and Associates, Ltd. – Madison, WI

Laurel Learning Tips

Tip #709: How to Set Learners Up to Fail: Part One

“Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.” George Bernard Shaw

I just attended a three- day marketing seminar conducted by a self-proclaimed curriculum design expert. It was very disappointing to see once again what happens when a trainer ignores the basics and sets learners up to fail.

She made ten glaring mistakes. Here are the first five:

  1. Never say “no” when a participant asks a question or makes a comment. It immediately becomes a rejection of the person, who will not risk volunteering questions or comments again. Time and again in this class, the trainer would either respond “no” to a question or comment, with and sometimes without further
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Tip #708: I have a dream- and it’s killing me!!

On February 13, 2018, Posted by , In learning, By , , With No Comments

“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.” Colin Powell

Imagine rocket firecrackers going off around a cartoon head. Now imagine that is my head. That’s my reality at the moment- and it’s been my reality for over 6 months. No wonder I’m fraying at the seams (and hitting the dark chocolate much too often). Sweat? Check! Determination? Check! Hard work? Check! Aspirin? Check!!

I’m starting a new business with a partner. You may ask what is so difficult about that. Well, let me elaborate on the different learning levels this has launched, all of which have very steep learning curves.

Program development: We have spent months developing the program and the materials, piloting … Read the rest

Tip # 707: Why Management Training Fails- And What To Do About It (#3)

On February 6, 2018, Posted by , In management and leadership, By ,,, , With Comments Off on Tip # 707: Why Management Training Fails- And What To Do About It (#3)

“We’ve got to put a lot of money into changing behavior.” Bill Gates

In the two previous Tips, we addressed the first two reasons why management training fails: it focuses on skill deficits instead of performance, and it occurs outside the manager’s organizational context and culture. In this Tip, we focus on the third and final reason for the failure of management training.

The third reason why management training fails is because it does not reinforce application of new knowledge or a change in behavior.

Once managers leave a training class, they are highly unlikely to apply what they have learned because they do not feel confident enough in their new skill. There is also nothing to ensure … Read the rest

Tip #706:  Why Management Training Fails- And What To Do About It (#2)

On January 30, 2018, Posted by , In management and leadership, By ,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #706:  Why Management Training Fails- And What To Do About It (#2)

“The culture of a workplace- an organization’s values, norms and practices- has a huge impact on our happiness and success.”  Adam Grant

In last week’s Tip, we looked at the first reason why management training fails: It focuses on skill deficits rather than performance.  In this Tip, we will focus on the second reason, and address the third and final reason in next week’s Tip.

The second reason why management training fails is because It occurs outside of the managers’ organizational context and culture. When managers attend off-site workshops, the instructor does not know and cannot incorporate reference to the individual managers’ organizational policies or procedures. It is unreasonable to expect otherwise. Unless the training program provides … Read the rest

Tip #705: Why Management Training Fails -And What To Do About It (#1)

On January 23, 2018, Posted by , In management and leadership, By ,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #705: Why Management Training Fails -And What To Do About It (#1)

“It’s all to do with the training: you can do a lot if you’re properly trained.” Queen Elizabeth II

There are three key reasons why management training fails:

  1. It focuses on skill deficits rather than performance,
  2. It occurs outside of the managers’ organizational context and culture, and
  3. It does not reinforce application of new knowledge or behavior.

In this Tip, we’ll focus on the first reason. We’ll cover the remaining reasons in subsequent Tips.

Reason #1 for management training failure: it focuses on general skill deficits rather than specific performance.

Unless the training program is exclusively for one organization or an intact team, typical management training is concerned with developing managerial skills rather than tackling performance problems within … Read the rest

Tip #704: Why Is It So Hard To Be Practical?

On January 16, 2018, Posted by , In learning, By , With Comments Off on Tip #704: Why Is It So Hard To Be Practical?

I tried for a short time to be something I wasn’t, and had no success with it. It’s a practical solution to just be yourself.” Kate McKinnon

When life gives some people lemons, they make lemon meringue pie, lemonade, lemon squares, lemon cheesecake, or lemon garlic tilapia (or, if they’re like me, they have any fish with lemon- or not at all).

Apparently, when life gives me lemons, I get acid reflux and reach for my personal Pepcid.

No, really.

Confronted with very practical, mundane issues, I scratch my head and keep doing what I’ve always done- often to my detriment. I guess I’m not the practical problem solver I thought I was.

For example, here are the lessons … Read the rest